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Improvements in and relating to calculating machines. British Patent nos. 19,675 and 13,094

Felt, Dorr Eugene

Publication Date: 1900
From Jeremy Norman's historyofscience (Novato, CA, U.S.A.)

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Together 2 patents. 3pp., 3 fold. diagrams (19,675); 11pp., 5 fold. diagrams (13,094). 1900-1904. Disbound, some leaves loose. The firm of Felt and Tarrant was founded in 1886 by Dorr Eugene Felt (1862-1930), who invented what he claimed was the first practical key-driven mechanical calculator. The prototype for Felt's machine was his famous "macaroni box" model, completed in 1885, in which Felt worked out the essential design elements of his calculator using a wooden macaroni box for the body, meat skewers for the keys, and rubber bands for the springs. In 1887 Felt patented his machine and began producing and selling it from his manufacturing facility in Chicago, which he financed with capital supplied by his partner, Robert Tarrant. Felt and Tarrant's main product was the Comptometer, introduced in 1890; this was a nonlisting (i.e., nonprinting) machine whose chief advantages were its speed, versatility, and ease of use. The Comptometer rivaled the Burroughs calculators in popularity during the first part of the twentieth century (Cortada 1993, 39-41). Like Burroughs, Felt and Tarrant soon established a global market for their calculators. The first of these British patents for improvements in the Comptometer was "intended to adapt such machines to be used in making calculations in British money"; the second describes improvements to the Comptometer's registering wheels. Bookseller Inventory # 40885

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Title: Improvements in and relating to calculating ...

Publication Date: 1900

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