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THE RISE OF THE » INDUSTRIAL ERA « MADE ALSO THE ERA OF MECHANICAL CALCULATORS
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In the beginning calculating machines were unique pieces, hand-made and artful
"Curiosities" - Gifts for Kings to entertain their court. E.g. Blaise Pascal
donated one of his first machines around 1650 to the Queen of Sweden. He build
his (+/-) »PASCALINE« for his father, who was a tax-collector, to made his job
easier. 1670 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz presented his STEPPED DRUM calculator
with ***movable ARITHMETIC*. It was also able to multiply and divide!
With rise of the industrial era the demand for calculating machines increased.
In 1828 the first mass production of a STEPPED DRUM machine was made by Charles
Xaver Thomas in Colmar. Until '60s machines using this principle were produced,
eg. 1920 »T.I.M.« (= "Time-Is-Money") in Berlin (s. Pictures of Restoration ...)
and 1950 »MADAS« (= "Multiplication, Autom.Division, Addition & Subtraction") in
Switzerland.
Another historicaly important calculating machine was in 1900 made ( 80 lbs !)
by Egli/Zurich, the »MILLIONAIRE«. It could (with its "1x1-Koerper") multiply
with *only one crank-turn!*
In 1872 an American, Frank S. Baldwin, patented the PIN WHEEL - in 1874 a Swede,
Willgodt T. Odhner working for Nobel in St. Petersburg / Russland, had the same
idea and got a patent in Europe. With these calculating machines one could add,
substract, multiply and divide. They were smaller, lighter and cheaper than the
STEPPED DRUM machines and became very popular. An important feature of Odhner's
invention was time-splitting the 10s-CARRY which enables an addition of
99999999 + 1 without friction problems. In 1892 Odhner licensed his patent
rights to the sewing machine company GRIMME, NATALIS & CO. in Braunschweig. This
company later changed its name to »BRUNSVIGA« and became very successful. After
the "October Revolution" in 1917, Odhner was forced to leave. His factory in St.
Petersburg was dismounted and rebuild in Moscow. Feliks Dzerzhinsky ( later head
of a predecessor-organization of the KGB ) was put in charge of the factory and
renamed the machines »FELIKS«. Odhner moved to Goeteborg / Sweden and continued
to produce calculators under the trade mark »ORIGINAL-ODHNER«.
Other companies FACIT, SCHUBERT, THALES, TRIUMPHATOR, WALTHER ... joined the
growing calculator market and improved on Odhner's design. In the beginning
the COUNTER for crank-turns had no 10s-carry feature. TRIUMPHATOR was the
first company with 10s-Carry Counters on the market, enabeling "Short-Cut-
Multiplication". E.g.: Instead 17 only 3 crank-turns for multiplying 89*89 are
necessary: One positive crank in the 100-columne, one negative crank in the 10-
columne and finally one negative crank in the 1-columne. The input shows 89, the
counter shows 89 and the result 89*89 = 7921. Another useful improvement was
"Back-Transfer" for continuing multiplications *without manually* entering the
intermediate result *( figure-by-figure )* again into the input-unit. E.g.:
89 * 89 = 7921 ===(BT)==>>> 7921 * 2 = 158442.
A speciallity of the »FACIT« machines: The Pin-Wheels get shifted serial to the
Arithmetic-Unit. Every activated Pin-Wheel will be assembled ( 0...9 ) by one
fixed 5-Teeth-Unit and a 4-Teeth-Pin-Wheel-Unit. This explains also the unusual
configuration of Input-Keys.
A true genius in the field was the inventor Christel Hamann of Berlin. His
motorized PROPORTIONAL LEVER Principle of 1910 was marketed by MERCEDES
BUEROMASCHINEN. In 1925 he invented also the SWITCHING-LATCH-WHEEL. These
calculators, which looked like Odhner machines, where produced under his name
and direction by DEUTSCHE TELEPHONWERKE & KABELINDUSTRIE ( = DeTeWe ) in
Berlin. The manual HAMANN-MANUS and also the motorized MERCEDES-EUKLID, had
automatic division. His little motorized »AUTOMAT-S« is impressive: Division
and "Short-Cut Multiplication" are incorporated as "Hardware Algorithms".
In 1912 Frank S.Baldwin (same !) together with Jay R.Monroe in USA invented
another mechanic for calculators, the SPLIT-STEPPED DRUM. With their light-
weight, full-keyboard machines, MONROE captured the market. The calculators
had also an interesting mechanic for its 10s-CARRY.
The US company MARCHANT had started with "Pin-Wheel" calculators - But debates
ref. Odhner-Patent made MARCHANT switch to calculators with "ADAPT-SEGMENT".
Machines with 4 basic arithmetics are important for engineering calculations,
but PRINTING ADDING MACHINES are a necessity for accounting. Both BURROUGHS
and VICTOR in the USA and OLYMPIA in Germany were very successful in this
market. They started with "Full" keyboards and produced later also "10-Block"
keyboards we are still using today. See the principle of converting the serial
input into parallel processing in the figure 10-BLOCK KEYBOARD.
A very different type of high-speed adding machine is the COMPTOMETER, an
invention of Dorr E. Felt in 1885. William S. Burroughs also had the same
idea at this time. In the patent struggle Felt won - but in the end,
BURROUGHS became the more successful maker of calculating machines. Felt
founded "Operator"-Schools, what had speed-up the emancipation: E.g.: Banks
and insurances staged halls with dozens of ladies on COMPTOMETERS. A scilled
operator entered "9" as "4+5", because of speed - What initiate the production
of (smaller + cheaper) "Half"-COMPTOMETERS, e.g. from CONTEX or TORPEDO. A
S P E C I A L I T Y of COMPTOMETERS: Only ADDITION is performed! - SUBTRACTION
has to be done as "9-Complement-Addition", e.g.:
55 - 22 ==>>> 55 + [ 22 - 1 ]* = 55 + [ 00021 ]* = 55 + 999...978 = 33
One of the most interesting calculating machines also has a very interesting
history. The CURTA is the world smallest mechanical full-function calculating
machine. Curt Herzstark invented it while he was a prisoner in the Buchenwald
Concentration Camp. The story was published with amazing pictures of mechanical
details by Cliff Stoll in »Scientific American« 01/2004. The CURTA works with
a modified STEPPED DRUM. It was (1950) a product of its best in fine-mechanics
and is today in high demand for collectors of calculators around the world.
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Enjoy to visite the » On-Line PRE-COMPUTER TECHNICAL MUSEUM «
Choices (1) START Tour A ... Z in the Department CALCULATORS
(2) **OVERVIEW what is to find where****
(3) HOME PAGE START-SITE
"THANKS!" to Dr. Michael Giehl from FU-Berlin / Klinikum » Benjamin Franklin «.
In the years 2000..2003 "Mikey" established the foundation for this "hand-code"
HTML-HomePage. My "Take-Over" was easy with his friendly help.
"THANK YOU!" also to my friend Nancy Shaw ( s. "5D-art.net" WebSite ). She made the
»ChriNaTECH« -DIAGRAMS & -ANIMATIONS to show how CALCULATORS work.
impressum:
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© C.HAMANN http://public.BHT-Berlin.de/hamann (*) 10/12/19
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