There are at least three cable series currently chronicling the business life of pawn shops. What is the fascination with people borrowing against baubles or selling their junk to professional peddlers for rent money?
I get a kick out of these shows and their genteel predecessor, Antiques Road Show, because the used machine tool racket that I practice is a bastard cousin of the pawn shop. I’m dealing in esoteric machinery which could be fodder for the furnace, or somebody’s stake to a fortune in Turkey or Topeka.
But I’m not only a purveyor of oily, wreaking junktiques from the basements of defunct car making mausoleums. I have my own collections of metal skeletons that have no logical home. Who wants a stock reel for a 4-spindle Conomatic? Who covets orphan bearings for random spindles for who knows what machine that used to be made in a demolished factory in Vermont?
Somebody may want my crusty flotsam and Jetsam, but who buys the pawnbrokers crap? If I’m the supposed authority on machine tool dinosaur bones, who’s my pawnbroker?
Once I almost traded an Acme for a yellow Mercedes convertible. Should have done it. Dumb iron is just dumb iron, unless it’s got a Fanuc control.
Question: Would you have taken the yellow Mercedes convertible?