new stuff

From: A.R. Duell <>
Date: Wed Jun 11 17:34:41 1997

> Mine sort-of works. I can only press down a digit in the
> hundred-thousands column though, and a few other buttons work. I can't
> shift it from add to subtract mode. Any idea what year these things are
> from?

This is going towards being off-topic, so feel free to (gently) flame me,
but I also have obtained a few very nice mechanical calculating machine
over the years. A friend sold me (for \pounds 10 - no way its true value,
but that's all he'd payed for it as scrap metal) a very nice hand-cranked
Facit machine about 2 months back. It was in _perfect_ condition (the
mechanism was gleaming), and after a minor adjustment, works fine. It
still use it - it sits on my bedside table along with an HP67 for
late-night calculations...

I've got a few motorised machines, none of which work yet, but which may
well be repairable when I get some time. Among them is a Monroematic which
was mistreated by its previous owner (when I resuced it, it was partly
dismantled, but I think I have all the important bits). I was also given a
Dheil (?spell) which is complete, but needs dismantling, cleaning, and
oiling. One day I'll give it a go. My father remembers ordering a very
similar machine (costing about 300 pounds) for scientific work in the

An interesting related machine (probably UK only) worked in the old UK
money system ((4 farthings = 1 penny), 12 pence = 1 shilling, 20 shillings
= 1 pound). I rescued a couple of these, one missing (alas) the platten
roller and paper feed mechanism, the other complete, but with a few
problems. Again, they'll get restored.

Probably the most interesting mechanical 'calculator' I have isn't a
calculator at all, but a printer. A place where I was working was throwing
out some data logging equipment, and I was offered any bits of it that I
wanted. I rescued :
The friden paper tape punch and reader (the mechanisms are _identical_ to
those used on my flexowriter, but are mounted on 19" panels, and have
their own drive motor).
The Sequence controller which was patchboard programmable, with DM160
valves (tubes) to display the current state
A large pile of schematics, etc.

And the printer. This was made by the Victor Comptometer Corporation, and
is one of their adding machines (possibly with some linkages removed) and
a bank of solenoids mounted over the keys. Very strange, and I guess, not

> Sam

The gates in my computer are AND,OR and NOT, not Bill
Received on Wed Jun 11 1997 - 17:34:41 BST

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