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3 Wolds from between 1909 and 1925 (types N, U, and A-1)

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by DaveG, May 1, 2021.


  1. DaveG

    DaveG Airbush Analyst Very Likeable!

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    I've been fooling a lot lately with three of my (potentially) oldest brushes. From the top down, they are a Wold A-1, Model U, and Model N. All are double action, but only the Model A-1 features a trigger and needle configuration most would recognize. On paper they all produce the same sort of results - very fine atomization, and symmetrical spray patters. They are all capable of some surprising levels of detail.

    Much of my attention in researching the pieces has gone to determining the age of the brushes, or as close as can be approximated. I've been pouring through old patent drawings, catalogs, ad media, etc. to help pin down any potential dates. Coupled with small revisions in machining processes that normally occur with time, I have narrowed it down to the Model N (bottom brush) being the oldest. The Model A-1 (top brush) is probably the second oldest, with the Model U probably being the "newest" of the bunch. They all came in fitted wooden cases, which also helps to narrow the time frame.

    You might look at the serial numbers, and ask yourself "what is he talking about?" Well, it is my guess that at some point they went from a 4 digit serial number to a 5 digit, with the first 2 digits being assigned in blocks to a particular model number. Perhaps around 1915, 1916 or so...

    These three were most probably produced just before, and just after WW1. It'd take too long to type out all the boring details of how I made that determination, but I feel pretty confident that it is a realistic approximation.

    3-oldies.jpg

    Wold Model N
    DSC_9971.jpg

    Wold Model U
    DSC_9081.jpg

    Wold Model A-1
    DSC_0158.jpg
    SiRoxx, jord001 and Leakyvalve like this.
  2. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Those are pretty cool.
    I love the level of quality that could be turned out in early 20th century. No CNC machines then.
    You know, after I tried that cheap water color in a bottle and had pretty good results, I see why the concept of tip dry never occurred to the old airbrush companies. It wasn't a problem with the paint they used.
    jord001 likes this.
  3. DaveG

    DaveG Airbush Analyst Very Likeable!

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    I think they were using much more than just watercolor - and that our recollection(s) are a bit selective ;). Reading much of the ad materials from say, 1915, many manufacturers make reference to "waterproof' or "permanent" airbrush colors in addition to oil based colors. Lots of ink was also being used, most likely shellac based. I also suspect that a lot of gouache, either water or alcohol soluble pigments were also being used... not really so different from today.
    jord001 likes this.
  4. Electric Cat Dude

    Electric Cat Dude Gravity Guru

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    Good luck on that project. You have a lot more experience with Wolds than I do!
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  5. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    What lovely pieces. I really do like the quality and build of the old airbrushes. They feel nice in the hand and the action is smooth on them. Nice brushes Dave.
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