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APPLE Macs, Texas Instruments calculators, the MiniDisc player, forerunner of the CD and the Internet's musical MP3, all get a mention in the ‘Collectables of the Future’ section of Miller’s latest product in their Collecting series – commenting vaguely “anything associated with a famous scientist or inventor will always have a value.”

Prototype inventions can be collectable, as is noted here. The co-inventor of the laser, Dr Arthur Schawlow saw an application for it as an erasing machine. A c.1967 example of this oddity, a cumbersome sort of electric handgun for erasing mistakes from typewritten and manuscript documents, all fitted up with a gauge device and complete with a special carrying case, sold last year for £435.

Today’s collectors are just as fascinated by technological advances as were their Renaissance predecessors – from early medical equipment, optical toys and sewing machines to calculators, typewriters and telephones. Science and Technology includes a picture and notes on the very boring plug-in ring counter from Eniac – Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer – the first machine that could be called a computer. One of the originals, c.1943 and with 27 of its 28 vacuum tubes still intact, sold for £53,000, date not given. Decade ring counters, for those of you still awake, are now apparently extremely desirable collectables. There is also a useful section on fakes and forgeries.

Usual Collecting series style – good value for beginners.