Steampunk, courtesy of the patent office!

This is what I miss out on by not reading the physical copy of the New York Times: ads! I recently picked up a copy of the Times science section and saw an ad for these wonderful vintage patent office models from the 1900s.

As if they're not steampunky enough, each one comes with a little yellowed, handwritten, calligraphic tag that I'm dying to read because I am convinced it must contain cryptic clues to some sort of awesome Neil Stephenson-style mystery. Right??

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I like "1868 Flexible Abrader" the most. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing sandpaper!