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Issue No.03 - Fall (1995 vol.17)
pp: 75-77
<p>The Calculators column is intended to focus on that aspect of computing history that in many respects preceded the introduction of the computer and has paralleled the computer for the past 50 years as the original “desktop” machine, and in later years as the “pocket” machine. Through this column we hope to provide information for historians and collectors about the world of calculators.</p><p>We invite readers to submit short contributions regarding the development, manufacture, and use of calculators for publication in this column. Longer articles should be submitted to Editor-in-Chief John A.N. Lee, with a copy to Earl E. Swartzlander, University of Texas at Austin, Department of E & CE, Austin, TX 78712; phone (512) 471-5923, fax (512) 471-5907, e-mail</p>
Earl Swartzlander, "Calculators", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.17, no. 3, pp. 75-77, Fall 1995, doi:10.1109/85.397063
1. M.R. Williams, A History of Computing Technology.Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1985, p. 256.
2. P.A. Kidwell and P.E. Ceruzzi, Landmarks in Digital Computing, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 28.
3. IBM Corp., “A Calculator Chronicle: 300 Years of Counting and Reckoning Tools,” not dated.
4. G.C. Chase, “History of Mechanical Computing Machinery,” Annals History of Computing, Vol. 2, 1980, pp. 198-226.
5. C. Eames and R. Eames, A Computer Perspective.Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1990.
6. Office Men's Record, vol. 4, Jan.-Mar. 1891. This volume is at the Chicago Historical Society in Chicago. The history of Landin Computer and Rapid Computer companies remain obscure. As yet, I know of no surviving examples that are marked as produced by the Landin Computer Company. Serial number 4566 (in private hands) is marked as a product of the Rapid Computer Company of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Serial number 4948 (in the collections of the Instituts für Mathematik und Informatik, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität [Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, University Ernst Moritz Arndt], Greifswald, Germany), is marked as a product of the Rapid Computer Adding Machine Company of Benton Harbor. Serial number 5817 (in the collections of the Arithmeum in Bonn) is marked as a product of the Rapid Computer Company of Chicago. This company advertised inScientific Americanfrom 1909 through 1911, offering the Rapid Computer for a price of $25 (see, for example,Scientific American,20 May 1911, vol. 104, p. 514). Apparently the company soon abandoned its Chicago headquarters, as serial number #6173 (in the collections of the Science Museum in London) is marked as a product of The Rapid Computer Company and of Baker-Vawter Company, both of Benton Harbor. I thank Dale Beeks, Warner Girbardt, Kevin Johnson, and Bernhard Korte for this information. A German version of the machine, called the Comptator, sold from 1909. See Ernst MartinThe Calculating Machines[Die Rechenmachinen], translated by P.A. Kidwell and M.R. Williams, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1992, p. 118 and pp. 216-218.
7. E. Darby, It All Adds Up: The Growth of Victor Comptometer Corporation, Victor Comptometer Corp., Chicago, Ill., 1968, p. 29.
8. K. Crosby, “HP’s Early Computers” (interview with Bernard M. Oliver), The Analytical Engine, Vol. 2, No. 3, May 1995, pp. 5-14.
9. E.W. Pugh,Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1995, p. 62.
10. “Company Profile: Bowmar,” The International Calculator Collector, Issue 1, Spring 1993, pp. 1,7.
11. Catalogs can be ordered from Auction Team Köln, Breker-The Specialists, Box 50.1119, D-50971 Köln, Germany.
12. Oughtred Society membership information is available from Robert K. Otnes, 2160 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94301.
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