Accession No

4404


Brief Description

Pascal-type calculator, by Lightning Adding Machine Sales Company, U.S.A., mid-20th Century


Origin

U.S.A.; California; Los Angeles


Maker

Lightning Adding Machine Sales Company


Class

calculating


Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1925


Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1970


Inscription Date


Material

metal (steel); plastic (bakelite)


Dimensions

length 360mm; breadth 110mm; height 44mm


Special Collection


Provenance

Purchased from Tesseract.


Inscription

‘MFGD. BY
Lightning
ADDING
MACHINE
SALES CO.
LOS ANGELES 7
CALIF. U.S.A.’ (front)


Description Notes

American Pascal-type calculator made of steel and bakelite. Body painted grey with yellow and white lettering. Device has 7 wheels, 7 readout windows, and a clearing bar. Original instructions. Brown-painted stand to rest calculator on. Guarantee certificate and order form from company for further machines.

Condition good; incomplete (stylus missing).


References

Mikey McGovern; 'Mechanical calculation'; Explore Whipple Collections online article; Whipple Museum of the History of Science; University of Cambridge: https://www.whipplemuseum.cam.ac.uk/explore-whipple-collections/calculating-devices/mechanical-calculation


Events

Description
Pascal type calculator
In 1642, Blaise Pascal devised what was probably the first simple adding machine using geared wheels.

Early mechanical adding machines consisted of a keyboard on which to enter the numbers, a level to be pulled to add them (or pushed to subtract them), and an accumulator to display the results. The accumlator was a set of geared wheels, with numbers 0 to 9 printed around their circumferences, and each wheel corresponding to a decimal place. Each time a wheel made a full rotation, the next decimal place up moved round by one. This basic mechanism remained very similar until the mid 1960s.

20/10/2002
Created by: Saffron Clackson on 20/10/2002


FM:44644

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