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.
- This ten-key listing electric calculating machine has a gray plastic case with a black lid that lifts to reveal the mechanism. The nine white numeral keys are arranged in a block. Below these are three black keys. One has one white dot, one has two dots and the third has three dots (for differing numbers of zeroes).
- To the right of the keys is a black bar marked +, a red bar marked -, a black T key, and a black ST key. There are three more black keys, six blue keys, and a red key on the left, as well as two levers with blue plastic knobs. Below the keyboard is a GT (grand total) bar and a switch. Above the keyboard is a place indicator. The printing mechanism behind this includes four type wheels to indicate dates, 13 for totals and two for symbols. Totals are printed in red. A serrated edge eases tearing the paper tape.
- The machine has a gray cord and the 3-1/2” (8.8 cm.) wide paper tape. A mark at the top reads: olivetti. A mark on a tag attached to the back reads: Olivetti Divisumma GT 24 (/) MADE IN ITALY * FABRIQUE EN ITALIE. A nother tag attached to the back reads: PROPERTY OF (/) 112551 (/) SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION. The serial number, written on the inside of the back of the top and on a plate attached to the bottom, is 2866218.
- The Italian artist Marcello Nizzoli designed this and other Olivetti calculating machines.
- This particular example was used in the Office of the Registrar of the National Museum of American History and is dated from its property tag number.
- Compare 1979.0854.01.
- S. Kicherer, Olivetti: A Study of the Corporate Management of Design, 1990, pp. 28–29.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ID Number
- maker number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center