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Thread: Pre-Laser Presentation Pointers

  1. #1
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    Default Pre-Laser Presentation Pointers

    I've been collecting pre-laser presentation pointers in preparation for writing about laser pointers, and just got a classy one. It's made by Eveready, and is built very well and solid with a heavy brass front end. There's also a fixture for a clicker on the side, but the clicker itself is missing. Looks like '50s to me.

    My collection includes 27 of these old arrow projecting flashlights. 5 run on 120vac and the rest on batteries. I have no idea how many companies made them. A big maker apparently was Rowi International in Germany. Their niche (optical projection flashlights made obsolete by the laser) and sometimes classy design appeal to me, so I guess I'll keep gathering them too.

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  2. #2
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    Cool. Does it pop balloons?
    This space for rent.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnar View Post
    Cool. Does it pop balloons?
    As a kid I was given one during a phase when flashlights totally obsessed me. During some late day in Christmas after the battery had worn out pointing arrows at stuff, I dropped it onto a balloon to see what happened. So I can proudly assert: yes it does.

  4. #4
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    As Doc said, yes, it'll pop a balloon. But not like real lasers do, as demonstrated here in 1962. Notice the portable power supply cases!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eidetic View Post
    As Doc said, yes, it'll pop a balloon. But not like real lasers do, as demonstrated here in 1962. Notice the portable power supply cases!
    Nice. But I suspect the real winner there is the camera. Must have taken damn good engineering in those days to capture that.
    (And with PSU's like that, using my methods, you could pop balloons in parallel. I'd like to see the Wicked Lasers Special that can do that.)

  6. #6
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    Here's a good set from the same company, Ednalite. First is a model 100A, featuring a transformer in the case that has a split top, a connector at the rear of the head, and provisions to wrap the long cords inside the case.
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    Next is the model 120A. It's cable is permanently attached to the head which is very similar to the 100A. These are often found on Ebay with a wood case that isn't split.
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    Here's their flashlight pointer. It plastic nose also provides illumination near a podium.
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    And finally their laser pointer with a 650nm semiconductor laser inside.
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    The oldest I've found is this 1954 "Electric Arrow Pointer" by C.P. Richter of Chicago, IL. It's also the only one I have a firm date on, from a "new product announcement" in an old criminology magazine I found on the web.
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  7. #7
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    Those are interesting, good bits of engineering there. The build of the Richter and early Ednalights remind me of an unrelated technology, but similar vintage, a 'Ficord' small portable tape recorder I was given once, which would have run on small rechargeable mercury batteries. Sean Connery's Bond would have loved it. Very classy engineering. So maybe it would have looked more in place on M's desk. It was given to me at an age when I didn't know enough to give it the respect it deserved. If it had fared better it might still work now, every switch on it was a work of machinists art.

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