Joined: 27 Aug 2004
Location: Chicago, Illinois USA
|Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:30 pm Post subject: Non-factory produced "Demonstrator" models
|Please be forewarned that there are some Curtas being sold on eBay that are represented as factory demonstration models, but they are, in fact, simply machines that have recently been stripped of many parts. Sometimes a new piece has been machined to fill the void left by a removed item.
There are original true factory built demonstrator units, but these items are nearly always Type I's. The serial number of these demo machines ranges from around 8000 to 50000, as the factory made these as needed for advertizing and sales promotion.
Valid Type II demonstrator models are rarer than demo Type I's. Some Type II demo's will have a serial number starting with an "S"...these were produced by factory workers outside of the factory's purview.
Regardless of when, where, and by whom a Type I or Type II demonstration model was produced, it should include a knurled base, a serial number on it's nameplate that matches the internal serial number, an upper carriage (with a window cut in the knurled carriage grip to allow you to view the tens carry mechanism...and occasionally a cut away clearing plate allowing you to see the spider spring), as well as a complete set of sliders and transmission shafts. The machine must operate properly in every way. A true demonstration model is a complete machine except for the cut away sections that reveal the internal mechanism.
There are probably only 25 to 50 factory built and/or factory trained worker built demonstration models of the Type I and Type II.
Any "exhibition" Curta may be of interest, but an incomplete and non-functional model is generally not representative of what the factory intended for display. Nevertheless, some of these exhibition models are wonderfully made...often with more exposed detail than those produced by factory workers. Some of these recently machined exhibition models have more workmanship than that expended by the factory.
A factory produced Type I can be assured if the demonstrator comes in a green leatherette display case with assorted extra parts of the Curta. There are few of these display cases remaining worldwide. There were no such display cases made for the Type II.
Photo via a link to Rick Furr's Curta calculator web site. Photo by Jack Christensen
32 Old Barn Road
Hawthorn Woods, ILLINOIS 60047