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EXTRAORDINARY ARCHIVE OF MATERIAL RELATING TO THE FAMOUS BURLEIGH ROCK DRILL INCLUDING PATENT MODEL, PATENT PAPERS, STOCKS, ETC. This extraordinary collection of material acquired many years ago by the consignor’s father directly from the Burleigh family of Waterville, Maine, relates to the development, patent, and utilization of the famous Burleigh rock drill. Charles Burleigh was born in Waterville, Maine in 1824. In his youth, he left his home and eventually resided in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Around the mid 1860s, he was instrumental in developing a special rock drill run by compressed air that was critical in the completion of the famous Hoosac Mountain Tunnel which was completed sometime around 1877. Burleigh, after completing the tunnel and purportedly saving the State of Massachusetts literally millions of dollars in man-hours, had to sue the State of Massachusetts to collect his payment. He was a very creative inventor, and his company went on to produce many improvements and other inventions relating to drilling; and the incredibly successful drills were acquired and used throughout the world. An obituary column about him in 1906 cited Burleigh as single-handedly creating the downfall of the value of silver in that his drills made the mining of silver so much more prolific that glut of silver and gold for a period of time came onto the market and drove down the price. This large lot includes a group of four or five wooden patent models for the famous drills and air compressor. At least one of the patent models still has court documents attached to them indicating they were utilized in the court case against the State of Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Also included are various original patent papers from the U.S. Patent Office regarding some of Burleigh’s inventions. The patent models are constructed in what appears to be walnut and brass parts; at least one apparently depicts the model of the famous Burleigh drill and improvements as well as a model of the famous compressor used to run the drills. In addition to the models, a large assortment of promotional cabinet photos illustrating the mining drills and carriages for the Burleigh Rock Drill, also a series of four large photographs depicting the Hoosac Tunnel at various points. Also included, at least two partially filled stock books for the Burleigh Rock Drill Company–the earliest stock dated 1867. Another stock book with some of Burleigh’s stock sheets together with a miscellaneous sampling of various other stocks for mining companies, railroads, etc. Also included are a series of professional engineers’ drawings for some of the drill components, a copy of an illustration and profile of the Hoosac Tunnel illustrating the tunnel entrance and exit etc., together with depictions of Burleigh’s equipment, and a scrapbook filled with numerable newspaper clippings about the successful utilization of the famous Burleigh drills, a copy book of letters mostly in the 1880s, and a plethora of letters, affidavits, etc., which probably relates in part to Burleigh’s lawsuits. A couple of early documents dating to as early as 1812 relating to the Roger’s family of Waterville, Maine together with a parchment calligraphy depicting the family register for the Rogers family dating back to 1791. Also, a small group of hand pamphlets, some in foreign languages that illustrate and promote the use of the famous Burleigh drill. The Burleigh drill was featured in the World’s Fair of 1876, and a plate depicting the Hall of Mines at the World’s Fair is included. All in all, an extremely interesting grouping which will undoubtedly create a fascinating story once all the correspondence and material has been compiled and reviewed. These other patent models which date back to the 1860s-1870’s are particularly interesting. Rarely does a group of patent models of this vintage come on the market with so much related material–a truly fascinating lot. SIZE: Patent model approximately 23″ h., patent model as well as the drill approximately 26″ l, large cabinet views of the Hoosac Tunnel measures approximately 16″ x 13″. CONDITION: This is a lot that has been stored in an attic for probably over 100 years. Some pieces are damaged and soiled, and some are in very good condition. While the patent models may be nearly complete, there is no way we can determine for certain without knowing completely what these models should look like. They are not guaranteed to be totally complete. However, they are in generally good condition retaining much of the original finish on the wood, etc. 1-6027 (3,000-6,000)

Auction: Advertising, Toy & Doll - Spring 2006
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.