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[TCML] Rescuing and loosing 2 Kinraide Coils and 16-plate Static Machine...

A few stories how history was found, restored, lost, etc... :)

In 2010 I get a phone call from Boston.  A 20-year old girl found an Alternating Current Kinraide Coil.
I booked a flight just to go see it in person.  Fortunately it was a half hour drive from the Kinraide family - 
I had a free place to sleep, and they were eager to see the machine too.  It was found in an abandoned building...


We explored the building to look for more.  Now...to get into the building we have to climb through a window in a 
service building, crawl through an asbestos and brick lined underground service shaft, and crawl up through the basement floor.
The building had collapsed floors, pigeon shit a foot high on the floors that were intact, and was filled with mold and decaying history.
A treasure mine.  I found the classic Newton feather/coin experiment, report cards of students more than 50 years worth, sheet music,
hundreds of porcelain sockets and cloth covered wire, mother of pearl light switches, it was amazing.  It was an old school, 1890s, and
all the lights were Edison bulbs with oil lamps as back up lights.  We tried to save more but someone called the cops on us and we had to
haul ass out of there.  Remember, we were trespassing and stealing technically :D !


The Kinraide Coil was severely burned out.  It needed major restoration.  The girl who found it did not want to part with it...
but a few months later crashed her car.  She offered it for sale for $2500.  I could not afford it, so I suggested the Kinraide family
buy it.  They did.  They sent it to be restored some months later, which I offered to do for free.

Next adventure was an art exhibit.  I was asked to do a Kinraide inspired art exhibit of spark photos in Williamsburg.  It cost me
about $2500 in all to make prints, frame them, ship them, get airfare, etc...  I sold one photo for $1000 and got to keep half ($500).
$2000 loss.  But good news?  I got to meet another branch of the Kinraide family, who flew there eager to help.


After restoring the Kinraide Coil I get a crazy note that one is for sale in Boston.  I made plans to freight the Kinraide back to the family,
and was hoping to use the same shipping container to ship the one for sale back home.  This time I was prepared to spend $2500 on the
machine.  I regretted not buying the other, but was happy to see the family get it.  Little would I know the coil sold for $6500.  I stopped
bidding at $6000, which was basically my CC limit.  The next bid increment was $500 and the other guy won.  With tax and auction fees
the cost of that coil was something like $8900, making it the most expensive antique Tesla Coil ever sold, outside of perhaps Strickfaden devices...
Something good happened though.  The same family who visited by art exhibit flew to sit by me during the bidding.  I introduced them to the rest
of the Kinraide family - who they never met -  and got to demonstrate their famous coil in person.  It was a priceless evening.



The next adventure, Bob Greenspan, who has one of the most prestigious collections in the world, told me that a static machine was being sold
in Opelousas LA.  He wanted the crown effluve electrode and offered me $500 if I bought the machine.  I wanted one bad after restoring Dan
Cuscela's (which cost more than $5K to acquire and nearly as much to restore).  It was in the middle of nowhere in a nonmedical auction.  I was bidding
by phone against a woman who wanted to gut it for her house.  I paid $1100, with taxes and fees $1350.  I couldn't afford a hotel, but I booked a plane
ticket to go there to pack it.  Freight quote said it would cost $800 to ship, U-Haul quoted me $900 + fuel/milage if I did it myself.  But I had to pack it up and move
it to the front driveway, it was in a building in the person's back yard.  I had no help.  I did find a place to stay, some strangers put me up and they were really nice.
I bought them a rose bush for their front yard for giving me a place to sleep :)
Finding a pallet was difficult.  Home Depot had hundreds and refused to even sell one.  The local packing companies did not answer their phones.  Finally Lowes offered me one for free!  I bought  some chip board and foam, nails, stretch film etc...spent about $50.  Moving the beast was a nightmare alone.  It weighed around 600 pounds.   I had to rent a truck from U-Haul to move it to the front yard, another $100.  It took more than 12 hours to disassemble and crate.  But it arrived 3
days later and I have yet to restore it.  I need to find a way to remove the 16 plates without damaging them and need to reshellac them.

I did sell the original crown for $500.  Recovered some of the money.  It still cost a month's pay...


Fun chaos!!  This is how it works.  Stuff shows up at the worst time possible and the only option to drop everything and try to save it
or loose it.  Or loose it trying.....  ;)
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