Verifying Gearwork Item in Spirit of the Age | World Anvil

Verifying Gearwork

In the Zurawah Stock Exchange there exists a curious device. Any trader in the exchange must arrive with written assurance of their assets, and a personal seal accepted by the banks of Zurawah. Arriving on the floor, each trader must make a written representation of the assets they are prepared to withdraw, and then of each trade. When the trader leaves the floor, they must first pass by the Verifying Gearwork, a clockwork device of addition and subtraction. The trader presents the operator of the gearwork with their representation of their assets and trades, and the operator inputs them into the gearwork and then turns a crank. After the crank is done turning, the gearwork shows the numbers inside a clear housing of Damaqah glass, showing the trader and the operator the remaining assets of the trader.   Used to ensure that traders do not make mistakes or attempt to write checks that they do not have the assets to honor, the use of the gearwork is in most cases a formality. Other stock exchanges manage the same function with notaries writing down sums and calculating by hand, though the Zurawahi claim that unlike notaries, the gearwork is infallible.



Originally not intended for verifying stock trades, the device was crafted some 70 years ago by a local eccentric artisan by the name of Raamiz al-Quadri. Already elderly by the time he finished the device, the gearwork was al-Quadri's last creation. Having no heirs of his own, al-Quadri bequeathed the device to a rich merchant named Jaad el-Parsa who had often financed his strange ideas. The merchant had no particular use for the device, and ultimately gifted it to the stock exchange, who decided to have their notaries use it. They soon found that using the device was faster and more accurate than writing down sums by hand, and today all transactions in the Zurawah Stock Exchance are verified by al-Quadri's machine.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

The verifying gearwork is a strange contraption of moving gears and buttons representing numbers, with two cranks of the side. One crank resets the device to a null position, the other performs the calculation. The buttons in the front function as a calculating interface, allowing the operator to press on the numbers and symbols to move the gears. Once the numbers have been placed in the device, the operating crank is turned until the numbers in the glass housing stop changing. 


Only a single gearwork exists. An experimental device that was expensive to manufacture, none have seen any significant potential in creating more of al-Quadri's device even if someone could follow his designs. It is unlikely that anyone will, and the Zurawah Stock Exchange will likely maintain the single existing one to their best of their ability until it finally breaks for good.

40cm X 30cm X 45cm


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