An item which is at least 50 to 100 years old and is collected or desirable due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature. Motor vehicles, power tools and other items subject to vigorous use in contrast, may be considered antiques in the U.S. if older than 25 years, and some electronic gadgets of more recent vintage may be considered antiques
antique (noun) - Any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity
In the United States the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined an antique as "works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830." 1830 was roughly the beginning of mass production in the U.S.
An antique tool is generally defined as a tool over 100 years old, but often this definition is used more loosely to refer to any tool manufactured before World War II.
The use of tools is one of the primary means by which humans are distinguished from animals. Tools are the parents of all other antiques. Most manmade objects were made with the use of tools and great effort goes into the creation of newer and better tools to solve the production problems of the day. The study of antique tools provides a glimpse of human development and cultural preferences through history. People collect and use antique tools for a variety of reasons - some say they are better made than modern tools, and perform their jobs better. Others appreciate the handcrafting that went into their manufacture or their rarity or aesthetic value. Informally, those preferring hand tools to power tools are sometimes referred to as galoots.
The creation of a tool often makes possible the creation of more advanced tools. Advanced tools made possible the manufacture of internal-combustion engines, automobiles, and computers. In the future new devices will come along. But even the most advanced of these owes tribute to the most basic hand tools for their existence. Among those who like to collect, some may do so as part of a rigorous study program - they want to catalog all types of a specific tool, for example. Some collectors may wish to preserve some of the past for future generations. Some may collect as a financial investment. Some collect tools to use them - to be able to create things with them. Others perceive tools as works of art, or as fascinating mechanical design specimens
Source : Wikipedia