Leon Theremin and RFID

There was an article in the BBC News webpage this week, telling the story of how Leon Theremin (inventor of one of the first electronic musical instruments) invented the technology underneath what we now call RFID…

Of course, this means that every time I swipe my card to buy something at the store, I’m going to start humming the hook from”Good Vibrations”… Maybe knowledge is not always a good thing… Or maybe I should get out my Clara Rockmore album and have another listen.

Pocket watch from Thisted

If you drive north from Struer for about an hour, you get to a town about the same size called Thisted.

On the 15th of June, 1871, a man names Jørgen Peder Sørensen setup up shop as a clockmaker  on Store Torv in Thisted. He made and repaired watches and clocks (including the town church’s clock) until, in 1925, he died and the business passed on to his son, Rasmus Frederik.

I just spent most of the evenings in the past week getting this key-wound pocket watch, made in Thisted by J.P. Sørensen, up and running again. It was in quite a mess when I got it. Years of congealed oil and dirt had seized the movement, the mainspring had come off the arbor, so it couldn’t be wound, and one of the pins was missing from the dial. So, it had to be completely stripped down and cleaned, oiled and reassembled. I also had to turn a new pin for the dial on the lathe and epoxy it in place. (Solder is a bad idea on an old watch face – the heat can ruin the enamel).

Now, apart from the missing second hand (I’ll put one on there when I find one that matches and fits), it’s up and running again – and keeping time well enough that I haven’t been late for a meeting for a couple of days!