Contest: Photo Fun with Calvin Cobb

CalvinCobb_Jacket6If you’ve read “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” by Roy Underhill perhaps you’ve noticed the numbered “chapter spots” – the little images at the beginning of each chapter.

(If you haven’t yet read it, well, you should! It’s variously funny, poignant, thought-provoking and, of course, quintessentially Underhill-ian.)

Here’s the back story on those chapter spots: Christopher Schwarz and I were in Pittsboro, N.C., at The Woodwright’s School when Roy started hunting down vintage things with numbers on them, camera in hand. I tried to keep up with him, jotting down everything at which he pointed the lens. But who can keep up with Roy?! Not me.

Saturday, though, I got a list from Roy of all the items – so we thought we’d have a fun little contest with them.

In the comments, in order from 1-38, post your best guesses as to what each item is in the chapter spots (pictured in order below). The contest runs through 11:59 p.m., March 28 (this Saturday). That way, I have the weekend to go through them.

Whomever gets the most correct (or is the first to get them all correct) wins an autographed copy of “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!”, a Lost Art Press T-shirt (your choice of available offerings and sizes) and an autographed Roubo bookstand from Roy.

The person with the second most correct wins an autographed copy of “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” and a Lost Art Press T-shirt.

Third prize is your choice of an autographed book or a Lost Art Press T-shirt.

And if there’s a tie for win, place or show, I can probably shake another set of applicable prizes out of the powers that be.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

About fitz

Editor & content director for Popular Woodworking, ABD PhD focused on early modern drama, freelance content and copy editor/writer, ailurophile
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29 Responses to Contest: Photo Fun with Calvin Cobb

  1. Matt Rae says:

    Is it cheating to find out whether the same object was used for multiple numbers?

  2. 1: Camera dial
    2: Punch card
    3: Book spine
    4: Radio or clock name brand/model #
    5: Camera knob
    6: No. 6 Jointing plane
    7: Radio volume knob
    8: Rotary phone dial
    9: Graduation on a machine knob (lathe, mill or the like)
    10: Vending machine display
    11: Display of some sort
    12: Camera knob
    13: Boxwood and brass folding rule/calliper (Stanley No. 13)
    14: Camera dial
    15: Vending machine button
    16: Cash register display
    17: Auger
    18: Stanley sliding bevel (Stanley No. 18)
    19: Tape measure
    20: Amateur radio dial
    21: Machine display
    22: Vending machine button
    23: Adding machine buttons
    24: Owner added numbers (using the punches from #38)
    25: Label
    26: Plate for correct setting to cut threads on a lathe (the numbers are the threads per inch)
    27: Folding rule
    28: Camera dial
    29: Transitional fore plane
    30: Protractor
    31: Tape measure
    32: Label on a box
    33: Plaque on a cash register
    34: Moulding plane blades
    35: Transitional smooth plane
    36: Adding machine button
    37: Transitional jenny plane
    38: Numbered punches

  3. toolnut says:

    You might want to disable comments and have them send emails. Based on the number of people that usually respond, while someone might not have all the right answers, all the right answers will be spread among the comments. Those, like me, who will wait until the last minute will cull through the answers looking for the correct ones. You could end up with a lot of people having all the correct answers. Then you’re in a pickle. Something to think about before the postings get out of hand.

  4. disneytodd says:

    1 camera
    2 code to unlock woodwirking secret for perfect dovetails.
    3 audels carpenter builder guide #3 of 4 book set great read.
    4 clock
    5 Camera film advance
    6 fore bench plane
    7 clock
    8 rotory phone dialer
    9 Ruler
    10 price tag from stanley tools
    11 time machine knob “top secret”
    12 Camera apature setting
    13 Ruler possible lufkien
    14 ?
    15 selector button for music box
    16 Camera film window number
    17 Moulding plane blade
    18 plane fence cast
    19 Ruler
    20 degree selector for miter saw
    21 grandpas missing lotto ticket
    22 selector button for juke box
    23 cash register key
    24 dividers
    25 quater slot for pay phone or that juke or is it jute box?
    26 steel square
    27 ruler
    28 camera apature selector for lens
    29 plane blade for half wood half metal plane
    30 Degrees selector for miter saw like my grandpas miller falls I see the saw teeth they need sharpning
    31 ruler with brass ends
    32 year I would like to visit 1832 that is
    33 stamp book or cost to order audel book set or a plan set from stanley tools.
    34 Blades for moulding plane
    35 level from Stanley
    36 Cash register button
    37 plane blade
    38 number stamp set for marking tools or the book that I hope to win Crossing fingers.

  5. saboster says:

    Some left me scratching my head, but it was a fun exercise. Here are my guesses:

    1. Film camera
    2. Punch card
    3. Audel’s carpenters and builders guide vol. 3
    4. Film camera
    5. Film camera
    6. Stanley No. 6
    7. Potentiometer dial (oscilloscope?)
    8. Rotary telephone
    9. Folding steel rule
    10. Cash register
    11. Film camera
    12. Film camera
    13. Stanley No. 13 boxwood calliper rule
    14. Film camera
    15. Adding machine
    16. Camera exposure counter
    17. Auger brace bit
    18. Stanley no. 18 bevel gauge
    19. Folding rule
    20. Combination safe
    21. ?
    22. Adding machine
    23. Adding machine
    24. Auger brace bit
    25. Old vending machine
    26. Steel framing square
    27. Folding rule
    28. Film camera
    29. Stanley no 29 fire plane
    30. Mitre saw or mitre box
    31. Folding rule
    32. Die-cast metal racing car #32
    33. Stamp dispensing machine
    34. Cutters from a Stanley No. 45 or 55
    35. Stanley No. 35 smooth plane
    36. Adding machine
    37. Stanley No.37 wood bottom transitional plane
    38. Number punches

  6. Throwing my guesses in the mix

    1: Camera dial
    2: Punch card
    3: Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide Book spine
    4: Radio model number
    5: Camera exposure count knob (how many exposures on the roll of film)
    6: No. 6 Jointing plane
    7: Radio volume knob
    8: Rotary phone dial
    9: metal ruler
    10: scale
    11: no clue!
    12: Camera knob
    13: folding rule
    14: Camera dial
    15: jukebox
    16: Cash register display
    17: Auger bit
    18: Stanley sliding bevel
    19: wooden rule with trammel point??
    20: safe dial
    21: juke box display
    22: juke box
    23: Adding machine
    24: id numbers, bar stock
    25: press
    26: lathe thread setting
    27: Folding rule
    28: aperature ring
    29: no. 29 transitonal plane
    30: miter gauge on hand miter saw
    31: wooden rule with trammel point??
    32: decals on something metal
    33: Plaque on a cash register
    34: Moulding plane blades
    35: no.35 transitional plane (Stanely)
    36: Adding machine
    37: no 37 transitional plane (Stanley)
    38: Number punches

  7. Fun idea – are you looking for the brand and model of the item or just that it is the dial of a widget ?

  8. how are you going to judge if we list the entries – I could easily copy someone else’s list and therefore not have to even try!

    • fitz says:

      Well I’m trusting you won’t do that. This is for fun, people! Where’s the fun in cheating?!

  9. 1. Film camera dial
    2, IBM punch card Holerith code
    3. Audel builders series book No 3
    4, Short wave radio dial 4 Mhz showing
    5, Film advance button on camera, shows remaining shots
    6. Stanley No 6 Fore plane
    7. Selector switch
    8. Rotary dial on old phone
    9. Folding rule, metal
    10. Pay Weigh scale, 10Cents
    11. Aperture setting on camera
    12. Distance setting ring on camera lens
    13. Stanley No 13 carpenter caliper rule
    14. Dial on camera
    15. Elevator button
    16. lighted floor number indicator for elevator
    17. Auger bit brace no 17 (1-1/16 in)
    18. Stanley No 18 sliding bevel
    19. Folding ruler
    20. Vernier dial on radio
    21. Selector button for adding machine
    22. Elevator button
    23. Button on adding machine (such as Daniels)
    24. Lateral lever on Stanley plane, showing part of patent 7-24-88 two piece construction (round disk)
    25. 25Cents coin slot on pay phone
    26.Scale on framing square
    27. Metal ruler
    28. Aperture dial ring on camera
    29. Stanley transitional No29 Foreplane, toe stamp
    30. Degrees selector on miter box
    31. Folding ruler
    32. # transfer decals on a seat
    34. Sneek plow cutter, from a set of 8
    35. Stanley transitional No35 Smooth plane, toe stamp
    36. Button
    37.Stanley transitional No 37 Jenny plane, toe stamp
    38. Numbers punches

  10. Correction. Megan looks like a Superwoman. But unless I’m sorely mistaken, her use of the verb form, “gets” has been used in the transitive voice…not the passive….which would dictate the use of “Whoever”, rather than “Whomever”, would it not?

  11. saboster says:

    Considering the vein of the contest, will there be Roy signed Roubo bookstand off cuts as a consolation prize for the runners up?

  12. lblack2x4 says:

    1. Robot 1937 exposure counting knob
    2. Punch card (IBM)
    3. Audels carpenter and builders guide vol.3 of 4
    4. 4.0hz HAM radio
    5. Shutter release timer on Robot 1937 camera
    6. No.6 try plane from stanly
    7. Kitchen timer
    8. Rotary dial phone
    9. 72″ folding ruler
    10. Scale used in rest stops that you have to pay for
    11. Radio dial
    12. Focus ring on robot camera
    13. Stanly no.13 folding rule
    14. Robot 1937 exposure counting knob now pointing to exposure 14
    15. Juke box button
    16. Exposure count window
    17.auger bit
    18. No.18 but locking bevel gage
    19. Rabone folding rule
    20. Safe lock
    21. Lock dial wheel
    22. Juke box
    23. Cash register
    24. Lever arm on stanly plane
    25. Quarter slot for stamp vending machine
    26. Thread count for barns screw cutting lathe
    27. 72″ folding rule
    28. Aperture dial for robot camera
    29. Toe stamp on stanly transitional jointer
    30. Miter box set to 30deg
    31. Rabone folding rule
    32. Match box car
    33. Stamp vending machine
    34. Plow plane irons
    35. Stanly transitional two stamp for 35 smooth plane
    36. Typewriter key.
    37. No 37 stanly transitional try plane
    38. Number stamps

    I hope I win!

  13. ejcampbell says:

    1. Not a camera, but I don’t know what it is
    2. old computer punch card.
    3. Audel’s Builders’ Guide, vol 3
    4. Band select knob on old Ham radio
    5. Film advance knob on camera
    6. No. 6 plane
    7. Adjustment knob and dial from unidentified electrical apparatus
    8 #8 finger hole on old phone dial.
    9. Metal ruler from something that has an oil joint.
    10. Pay scale that charges 10 cents/weighing
    11. Don’t know but I’m sure all previous guesses are wrong.
    12. focus setting knob on camera.
    13. wooden ruler
    14. Mystery knob. What goes from 1, 14, 3 . . .?
    15. Juke box button (Lighted boxes to right display the choices.)
    16. I’ll go with elevator floor indicator, but I think el;evators from the age of Calvin Cobb used a needle moving across a dial.
    17. Bit for a brace.
    18. Looks like it is cast iron widget with a number 18 on it. Previous guesses are for things that are usually engraved on a polished surface.
    19. Folding ruler (same as #31.)
    20. Safe combination dial.
    21. Mystery. Looks like a rotating dial that would be behind a window where one number in turn would show.
    22. Looks like 15, but without lighted boxes. I was thinking elevator button, but where would Roy get an old elevator? So I’ll go with Juke box again. Different model.
    23. Adding machine. Addihng machine buttons are arranged in a rectangle like number pads on phones, but upside down. Cash register buttons are columns of 10 buttons 0 – 9. These are rows.
    24.It tapers to the right so I’ll go with one leg of a 2′ compass or dividers.
    25. coin slot on vending machine for quarters.
    26. looks cast or at least rough. Settings for precision machinery are engraved on a polished surface. The ordering of the numbers is weird.
    27. folding ruler from different mfg than the other 2.
    28. f-stop (aperture) dial on a camera.
    29. No 29 ransitional plane.
    30.manual mitre saw angle indicator.
    31. folding ruler (same as #19).
    32. Looks like 3 was repainted at least once and is still flaking off. Painted on concrete? I’ll guess house number on cide of concrete building.
    33. metal sign on stamp vending machine.
    34. I have no idea, but previous guesses on molding planes sound plausible. (Official guess is I don’t know.)
    35. Stanley #35 transitional plane.
    36. old typewriter where the key would type a 6 if pressed and a 3 if Shift + key were pressed.
    37.Stanley number 37 plane
    38. numeric punches. Hit with mallet to emboss digit in wood.

  14. dnramirez says:

    1. Roulette wheel
    2. Numerical Punch Card
    3. Audels Carpenter and Builders Guide 3
    4. Vintage Radio Tuning Dial (Special B-Band)
    5. Film camera counter dial
    6. No. 6 Jointing plane
    7. Radio volume dial
    8. Telephone rotary dial
    9. Vintage folding steel ruler
    10. Toledo scale with 10 cent label
    11. Aperture F Stop guide on camera
    12. Distance setting on camera lens
    13. Stanley No. 13 Carpenter’s Caliper Rule (circa 1854-1933)
    14. Roulette wheel
    15. Selector on a Jukebox
    16. Camera frame counter
    17. Auger brace bit No. 17
    18. Stanley sliding bevel No. 18
    19. Folding ruler
    20. Vernier dial
    21. Combo lock tumbler wheel
    22. Vending machine button
    23. Adding machine buttons
    24. Bar clamp (24 inch)
    25. Pay phone 25 cents coin slot
    26. Lathe thread & feed chart
    27. Folding rule
    28. Camera aperture F Stops dial (2,8 German)
    29. Stanley No. 29 fire plane
    30. Miter saw angle index
    31. Folding rule
    32. Decal for 32 deuce coupe model race car
    33. Stamp vending machine
    34. Plow plane irons
    35. Transitional No. 35 smooth plane
    36. Typewriter numerical key for laboratory typing
    37. Stanley No. 37 transitional plane
    38. Number punches

    If you never try you’ll never know. Daniel

  15. This was a great deal of fun!

    1 “Oh, it’s a RoBot!” says Anne. “May I see it?” Manual film counter on an Otto Berning and Co Schwelm-Weste ‘RoBot 1’ 4 fps camera c1934
    2 IBM 80 hollerith punch card stock used on the IBM 601 tabulator
    3 Leather bound Audel’s carpenters and builder’s guide Vol. 3, 1937 Edition no doubt
    4 Amateur Ham Radio possible Hallicrafters or Heath
    5 Exposure timer on Otto Berning and Co Schwelm-Weste ‘RoBot 1’ camera c1934
    6 No. 6 Stanley Fore plane – possible TYPE 7, PAT.7-24-88
    7 Egg timer dial ?
    8 dial from a rotary pay phone
    9 72″ Zig Zag steel ruler or 2 foot folding steel ruler
    10 price to be weighed on Set of Toledo Scales
    11 looks like a rangefinder light meter such as a combi-meter could also be an aperture dial
    12 Depth of Field dial on an Otto Berning and Co Schwelm-Weste ‘RoBot 1’ camera c1934
    13 Stanley No. 13 Boxwood Brass Ruler with Caliper
    14 Manual film counter on an Otto Berning and Co Schwelm-Weste ‘RoBot 1’ camera c1934
    15 Selector button from a Juke box
    16 Desk Calendar display
    17 Jennings spiral auger bit No17 which would be 17x16th = 1-1/16″
    18 Stanley No 18 Eureka Flush Bevel
    19 Wooden Zig Zag ruler
    20 potentiometer dial – No doubt part of the machine used to calculate the trajectory and fling S@#t – I mean disperse manure
    21 Looks like a tumbler for a combination lock – but the ghosted numbers on the right is odd.
    22 another juke box button
    23 Keys from a Burroughs adding machine
    24 chisel shaft
    25 the 25 cent slot on a three coin pay phone
    26 possible a wire drill gauge – such as dunlap
    27 steel folding ziz-zag ruler
    28 35mm camera f-stop dial also on Otto Berning and Co Schwelm-Weste ‘Robot 1’
    29 Stanley no. 29 fore plane
    30 Mitre saw set to 30 degrees – the saw blade could be a red herring though
    31 Wooden Zig Zag ruler
    32 The number on the shirt of the Football Blocker Calvin thinks about on the train
    33 stamp machine – 3 stamps for a dime
    34 two plane irons from a plough plane
    35 Stanley/Bailey N0 35 transitional smoothing plane
    36 10 Key adding machine – such as a dalton
    37 Stanley No. 37 Jenny plane
    38 number punches

  16. Stumpy Nubs says:

    I spent HOURS on this- so if I don’t win, I’m sending Megan a bill 🙂 I waited until as late as I dared so nobody would copy my answers. Some were REALLY hard and took a lot of research. Especially #16, 20, 21 and 32. But I am reasonably sure I got them right. Some interesting notes:

    Numbers 1, 5, 12, 14, 20, and 28 appear to be from a Robot I camera, produced between 1934 and 38, possibly with a Zeiss Tessar or Xenar lens. I figured it was a model 1 because I believe it was the only model with the little crank on the front.

    It is possible that the rotary dial (#8) and the coin slot (#25) are from the same pay telephone.

    The three Jukebox photos are all Wurlitzer, but from two different models.

    Several of the photos were not taken in Roy’s school. The blog didn’t say they were, but I originally assumed, until I started figuring out what they were.

    … These are my hunches, which I thought I’d add for fun, but I am not staking the accuracy of my list upon them. My actual guesses are as follows…

    1- Robot camera frame counter
    2- IBM computer punch card
    3- Audels Carpenter’s and Builder’s Guide Vol 3
    4- RCA Victor radio dial
    5- Robot camera shutter speed dial
    6- Stanley #6 plane
    7- Timer dial, perhaps a light switch
    8- Rotary telephone
    9- Folding rule, probably Lufkin, same as #27
    10- 10 cent sticker on a floor standing weigh scale made at Toledo Scale Co. The number on the left is 295
    11- The numbers 8, 11, 16… happen to be the order of “F-stops” on many photography meters, so I’m going with that.
    12- Robot camera focus distance scale
    13- Stanley #13 ruler with caliper end
    14- Robot camera manual frame/exposure counter
    15- Wurlitzer Jukebox track selection button (same as #22)
    16- Wurlitzer Jukebox button number indicator (not the same machine as 15 and 22)
    17- Auger bit end
    18- Stanley #18 bevel gauge
    19- Folding rule, same as #31
    20- Atwater Kent (Possibly model 37) radio dial
    21- Adding machine made by the American Adding Machine Co circa 1912
    22- Wurlitzer Jukebox track selection button
    23- “10 key” compact adding machine or check writer
    24- 1 ½” auger bit
    25- 25 cent Coin slot, likely from a pay telephone
    26- Thread cutting setup plate from an 1880’s Barnes metal lathe (Perhaps 1887?)
    27- Folding rule, probably Lufkin, same as #9
    28- Robot Camera F-stop dial
    29- Stanley #29 transitional plane
    30- Miter saw angle index obscured by the blade
    31- Folding rule, same as #19
    32- Post office box number
    33- Stamp sign- may advertise three 3 cent stamps for a dime.
    34- Plough plane irons
    35- Stanley #35 transitional plane

  17. Matt Rae says:

    This contest has been a curse! I have had more people in more places googling random things in hopes of clues than I ever thought possible. Thanks for the cute idea – you will never know how much entertainment this provided for me and my friends.

    1 radio room clock – has 12 hr and 24 hr time . This is the same object 14.
    2 Computer punch Card
    3 book cover of audel’s carpenters and builders guide, volume 3
    4 face plate of a ham radio
    5 Film Advance knob for 35mm SLR
    6 stanley number 6 bench plane – fore
    7 knob on electronic equipment – likely radio volume
    8 rotary phone
    9 steel rule – folding
    10  toledo ohio scale – weight and scale only 10cents
    11 Aperture light meter combo on robot camera?
    12 Aperture setting on SLR Robot camera
    13 Stanley No. 13 Boxwood & Brass Carpenter’s Caliper Rule, 6 inch/2 Fold
    14 radio room clock – has 12 hr and 24 hr time -same as number one
    15 selection gauge on a machine such as a juke box or vending machine – same object as 22
    16 I had a lot of guesses but am going to settle with a date in a calendar
    17 auger bit – no 17
    18 Stanley bevel (Stanley No. 18
    19 Folding Ruler (same one as 31)
    20 combination lock, possibly on a safe
    21 film strip count down such as for a film projector or a photo booth.
    22 juke box – same object as 15
    23 Adding Machine
    24 dividers – looks like the font on mine, although they are number 7
    25 quartercoin intake, possibly parking meter or payphone coin slot
    26 lathe thread setting
    27 the same metal ruler as number 9
    28 Camera – Numbers are f stops
    29 Stanley no. 29 Fore plane
    30 angle gauge – potentially on a miter saw
    31 Folding Ruler (same one as 19)
    32 parking space number painted on concrete, if not numbers painted on the side of a tank
    33 Vending Machine – Stamp
    34 cutters for sure – maybe for a molding plane or 45
    35 Stanley No. 35 Transitional Plane
    36 type writer key – 3 or 6 depending if caps is on
    37 Stanley No. 37 Adjustable Metallic Plumb & Level
    38 Metal Punches

  18. disneytodd says:

    I wild love to have the book just to read even a off version if my guess don’t work I will have to go back to saving up for it.

  19. disneytodd says:

    Off=pdf I hate spell check

  20. fitz says:

    So I guess I know what I’m doing this afternoon! Thanks everyone, and good luck!

  21. Certainly was fun. Thanks for doing this! Think I might have a mystery picture of the month on my blog. In the UK years ago a TV program used to do a similar thing but so much harder to work out without the internet.

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