We join Antiques Roadshow currently in progress.
Mr. S______: My wife found this at a Sears Outlet in Saint Charles, Missouri, in 1989.
Appraiser: Do you have any idea what it is, or what it might have been used for at one time?
Mr. S______: I did a little research and I know it's some type of electronic tool.
Appraiser: Well, what you have here is what is known as a "router." You are right, it is a form of power tool, and it was quite popular in 1989. It wasn't as commonly found as an electric screwdriver, but it wasn't exactly rare. They were mass produced by the Black and Decker corporation and sold at Sears Outlets. Men would use these to make grooves in wood.
Mr. S______: Really? I thought it was used in computer networking.
Appraiser: Yes, later "router" gained the use we know today, a form of computer equipment. Now, where did you store this item?
Mr. S______: Down in the basement.
Appraiser: I see the box is in fairly good condition.
Mr. S______: Yes, I never opened it.
Appraiser: I can see that, the staples are right there on the top of the box. By any chance do you still have the receipt?
Mr. S______: No, I'm afraid I don't.
Appraiser: If you had, of course, that would go towards establishing the provenance of the item. Now, do you have any idea what this is worth?
Mr. S______: (shaking head) I have NO idea.
Appraiser: Well, in this mint condition, in the original box, unopened, this 1989 Sears Router would be worth fifteen dollars at auction today.
Mr. S______: (squeals with delight)
Appraiser: If you had some of the additional router bits, it might be worth even more to a collector.
(Across bottom of screen)
1985 Sears Router, unopened
To be completely fair, Gary does take all his power tools out of the box once just to plug them in and have them make a noise. "The router goes RRRRRRRR!" Then they go back in the box and are added to the collection in the basement.
(It's Larry at work who has the unopened table saw he bought years ago in his shed.)