Lot 385. EDISON ELECTRIC PEN NO. 5684

EDISON ELECTRIC PEN NO. 5684, the nickel-plated flywheel with a cast iron frame, decorated with a red line detail, the electric motor formed with two electromagnetic coils over a knurled shaft and oscillating steel stylus, pen 5?in. (14.5cm.) high, flywheel stamped Patented Aug. 15. 1876 The Edison Electric Pen was a reprographic device designed to create manuscript stencils and was driven by a wet cell battery. The vibrating stylus impressed minute perforations in a special wax-coated paper and although it sold well, surviving examples are rare. It was quickly superseded by the typewriter but has gained notoriety as the predecessor to tattoo machines. A gentleman called Samuel O'Reilly discovered that Edison's oscillating pen could be used to inject ink into the skin and in 1891 he patented an add-on ink reservoir and supply tube for this use. Soon after, Thomas Riley of London improved the Edison/O'Reilly rotary version by patenting a single coil machine fashioned from a modified doorbell. However, the Edison pen is widely regarded as the first 'modern' tattooing device.
Sold For £8200.00 In The Coins, Militaria, Tribal Art Sporting & Maritime - Sale Date 27th February 2020

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