Young inventor has global success with synchro auction web device
A 11-YEAR-OLD inventor has solved a problem that has dogged the antiques industry for 20 years.
Ridley Partridge, son of TV antiques expert and Macclesfield auction house owner Adam Partridge, has developed an electronic auctioneer’s block that synchronises the online and auction room bidding process.
The concept has now been developed by ATG Media, a pioneer in live and timed webcast auctions, and will be used in hundreds of auction houses in the UK and overseas.
Ridley, a student at King’s School in Macclesfield, said he had the ‘light bulb’ moment when he was helping his dad run an auction.
He said: “I was running an auction for my dad and brought the gavel down on the block to sell the object in the room only to find that it had been sold to an online bidder instead.
“I thought I had done something wrong and was a bit worried about asking my dad. But he explained it happened quite a lot because it was hard to synchronise the timing out of the online auction with the gavel coming down in the room.
“I immediately thought that this wasn’t such a problem and you just needed an electronic device to synchronise the online and auction room process.”
With the help of his school’s design and technology department, Ridley devised a prototype which his dad passed on to ATG for development.
Dad Adam said: “The first thing I thought was ‘brilliant, that’ll take off, great idea son’.
“The second thing I thought was, why on earth didn’t I think of that. I mean it’s so simple and come to think of it, obvious.”
ATG paid Ridley £250 for his idea, but Ridley said the reward was greater than the money.
He said: “It’s not the money, it’s the satisfaction to think that something I dreamed up and worked on in school will be used all over the world.”
Jeremy Nicholls, head of design technology at King’s, said: “It is fantastic to see [Ridley’s] ideas being taken forward into a functional product which can benefit auctioneers throughout the country.”
●● Ridley with his dad, auction house owner Adam Partridge