London, Nov 9 (ANI): A rare Edison Electric Pen invented by Thomas Alva Edison, which is a first to have an electric motor, is to go under the hammer.
Edison had launched the pen in 1875 to allow multiple copies to be made from the same handwritten manuscript, but it was made redundant after the typewriter was invented.
The machine for sale belongs to a collector, and it is in full working order and comes with the associated Edison Mimeograph Duplicator.
The pen's stylus would make 50 punctures per minute, perforating the paper with thousands of tiny holes, and the paper would then be placed into the duplicator and ink would be spread over it, creating as many copies as was desired.
Run off a wet-all battery in a glass jar, the pen was initially a hit, being sold all over the world.
At the time it was boasted that up to 15,000 copies could be made from the same stencil, with up to 15 possible in every minute.
"The apparatus is used by the United States, City and State Governments, Railroad, Steamboat and Express Companies, Lawyers, Architects, Engineers, Accountants, Printers and Business Firms in every department of trade," the Telegraph quoted sales literature at the time from the US as stating.
"It is especially valuable for the cheap and rapid production of all matter requiring duplication..." it stated.
Originally the whole system could be purchased for 40 dollars, and there were different sized duplicators.
Uwe Breker, who runs an auction house in Cologne in Germany, expects to raise nearly 10,000 pounds from the sale.
"The Edison Electric Pen still works today, but you can use a modern 4.5 volt battery to power it," he said.
"There are only thought to be about two dozen of these in the world and most are in museums so it is very rare for one to come on the open market.
"The electric pen was the very first item to be driven by an electric motor and is one of the earliest items of Edisonianan available to collectors.
"On August 8, 1876, Edison was granted U.S. patent number 180857 for his new invention.
"It sold well all over the world but the development of the typewriter reduced demand for it considerably," he added.
The pen is to be sold at Breker auctions on November 21. (ANI)