Anita Mark VIII Desktop Electronic Calculator with Manuals


According to the accompanying instruction book, this is “the world’s first electronic desk calculator.” The full-keyboard, non-printing calculator has ten columns of plastic keys and shows 12-digit results. A column of keys for multiplication is on the left. Keys for arithmetic operations and for clearance are at the front. The machine used vacuum tubes—later electronic calculators would have transistors and then microchips.

The Anita Mark VIII was one of two electronic calculators developed by the British Bell Punch Company in a team led by Norbert Kitz. Kitz had obtained an advanced degree in computer science at the University of London in 1951, studying under computer pioneer Andrew Booth. He applied for a patent for an “electronic calculating machine” as early as 1957. By 1961, Bell Punch exhibited its Mark VII and Mark VIII electronic calculators at trade fairs.

A mark on the front of the machine read: ANITA. A tag on the bottom reads near the top: MODEL NO. C/VII/I006852/A. The tag also includes an extensive list of patent and patent application numbers. The last British patent listed is 868761, which was issued May 25, 1961. A mark on the plastic cover for the machine reads: ANITA

The operating instructions for the Mark VIII received with the machine were distributed by the Inter-Continental Trading Corporation of New York, N.Y. Also received with the machine is a booklet of operating instructions for the Anita Mark 9, a similar machine.

Norbert Kitz filed for a U.S. patent for this machine December 9, 1961(he had filed for earlier U.S. patents in 1957 and 1959), and was granted it October 18, 1966.


Norbert Kitz, "Key Controlled Decimal Electronic Calculating Machine," U.S. Patent 3,280,315, October 18, 1966. There are extensive online discussions of the Anita electronic calculators.

Date Made: ca 1961

Maker: Sumlock Comptometer LTD

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom

Subject: Business


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers, Computers & Business Machines, Desktop Electronic Calculators


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: In Memory of Eston C. and Gertrude S. Farrell

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1999.0143.01Accession Number: 1999.0143Catalog Number: 1999.0143.01

Object Name: electronic desktop calculator

Physical Description: metal (cover material)plastic (keys material)glass (components material)Measurements: overall: 24.4 cm x 36.8 cm x 44.5 cm; 9 19/32 in x 14 1/2 in x 17 17/32 in


Record Id: nmah_557378

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