Calculating MachinesDirect Multiplication Calculating Machines
The first calculating machines multiplied by repeated addition. To multiple by tens, hundreds, or larger units, one shifted the carriage. From the 1870s, a few inventors proposed machines that could multiply directly – albeit by a single digit at a time. The Frenchman Léon Bollée exhibited such a machine at a world’s fair held in Paris in 1889. Not long thereafter the American George Grant and the Swiss inventor Otto Steiger invented direct multiplication machines. Steiger’s machine would sell successfully as the Millionaire in both Europe and the United States. In the 1930s, Swedish-born inventor Carl Friden introduced a calculating machine on which all of the digits of the multiplier could be entered at once. Automatic multiplication – and automatic division – came to be widely available on calculating machines in the 1950s.
"Calculating Machines - Direct Multiplication Calculating Machines" showing 1 items.
- By 1939 Friden Calculating Machine Company had introduced a “Supermatic” version of its calculating machine that featured multiplication by direct entry of digits (rather than repeated addition). This is an example of that full-keyboard non-printing electric stepped drum machine. It has a metal frame painted gray and ten columns of color-coded gray and blue-green plastic number keys, with a blank green key at the bottom of each column.
- Metal rods between the columns of keys turn to indicate decimal places. On the right are two columns of function bars and keys. On the left is a register that indicates numbers entered for multiplication. Below it is a block of 9 white digit keys, with a 0 bar below. These are surrounded by further levers and function keys.
- Behind the number keys is a movable carriage with an 11-digit register and a 21-digit result register. The result register has plastic buttons above it that can be used to set up numbers. Zeroing knobs for the registers are on the right of the carriage. Decimal markers slide below the two registers on the carriage. The machine has four hard rubber feet. An electric cord attachs to the machine at the back.
- A mark on the bottom of the machine reads: S10-105632. A mark on the back and sides reads: FRIDEN. A sticker attached to the bottom reads: MODEL S. It also reads: FRIDEN CALCULATING MACHINE CO., INC. [() MADE IN SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. It also reads: DESIGN PAT. 103,425.
- Design patent D103,425 was granted to Carl M. Friden March 2, 1937. According to Carl Holm of Neopost, the model S 10 was introduced in 1938. The date given is from Jorgenson.
- Ernie Jorgenson, Friden Age List, Office Machine Americana, p. 2.
- Currently on loan
- date made
- Friden Calculating Machine Company, Inc.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- maker number
- S10 105632
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center