First, before you get to meet Josh you might appreciate this lesson in old electronic parts: a Nixie tube looks like this. And from Instructables, a definition: A Nixie Tube is a Neon gas-filled tube, that has a wiremesh anode with various cathodes shaped like numbers or symbols. Back in the 1950s they were used in computers, calculators, and laboratory equipment. Nixie tubes were replaced by LEDs and VFDs(vacuum fluorescent displays)in the 1970s.
At Bent Wire Republic, Josh always enjoyed working with his hands to fix things. A few years ago, he discovered nixie tubes and had the opportunity to build a nixie tube clock from scratch. He found it exhilarating to soldier together all the circuitry and see the simplicity of a nixie tube turn into a fully functioning clock.
This experience brought history to life and to see the nostalgic glow each of the nixie digits. From that point on, Josh wanted to keep creating those remarkable devices, but also began to incorporate them into other antique and vintage electronics that he revitalized. When he realized his house didn’t have enough room for all these creations, he decided to share them with the world. This was the beginning of Bent Wire Republic.
Josh says, “I love working with reclaimed materials to give rundown antiques a new lease on life as revitalized pieces of functional steampunk-style art. Even the Nixie tubes for my clocks are reclaimed. Hunting and salvaging for old electronics gives me great joy. Seeing the transformation from dirty and run down, to meticulously preserved and rejuvenated is electrifying. I love having the opportunity to display and showcase that excellent craftsmanship of yesteryear.”
Josh Baulch and Bent Wire Republic is located at Table #1.