A Spring in your Step – Highlights from Auction Team Breker May 14, 2022
Above: Live-steam model of a Fowler showman’s engine, “Katharine”, by John Folder, Leeds. Sold: 6.734 € / $ 7,003.
AUCTION TEAM BREKER’S second outing into the world of antique and collectable technology this spring highlighted the extensive collection of retired San Jose teacher James (‘Jim’) Rauen.
Though Rauen taught mathematics and published textbooks on the subject, letters – not numbers – were the passion of his private life. Rauen, a member of the Early Typewriter Collectors Association, enjoyed sharing his knowledge and was a regular contributor to the society magazine ETCetera.
“One of the nice things is it’s not an expensive hobby”, he told an interviewer for the Los Angeles Times in 1988. Times have changed and, as typewriters have become (almost) mainstream in the eddies of antique collecting, prices have kept pace. Today, historic writing machines can be found in the collections of the Science Museum in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.