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Crosby Steam Gauge identification help.

tagish

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I picked up this steam gauge as a collectible. The Stilwell-Bierce & Smith-Vaile Co. operated under that name between 1892 & 1904. I'm just wondering if anyone would know where this gauge would have been used? And if the face plate would have been originally silvered?
 

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Ashton

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Joe K

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Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
The faces of gauges WERE originally silvered. Time and interest of users to "clean" the gauge-faces usually results in the silvering being "lost" and the gauge face appearing brass. Some sellers in the interest of "improving" a gauge's salability (and realized price) will use Brasso on everything including the face - this is a mistake.

Given a choice between a somewhat silvered gauge face and a "brass appearing" face, I'll always take the somewhat. Sellers, in their effort to improve their market position may actually be decreasing it. So if you have a gauge and want to "brighten it up" for sale, stick to brushing it with a soft cloth, and if the numbers are imprinted, use a Sharpie (or a fine brush and black paint) to strengthen the numbering/lines.

It is possible to "re-silver" the face, but the chemicals are fairly hazardous, fairly difficult to buy nowadays, and certainly present a disposal challenge after the job is done. Its not a job to be done unless one "strips" the gauge face back to pure brass and then re-silvers the whole face (and re does the number paint.) A lot of work.

Joe K
 
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