Sur une nouvelle machine a calculer in Comptes Rendus de l'Academie Sciences, Volume 109, 1889, pp. 737-9 [DIRECT-MULTIPLYING CALCULATOR]

Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1889. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION OF BOLLEE’S PAPER DETAILING THE CALCULATING MACHINE WHICH EMBODIED A MULTIPLICATION TABLE. The Bollee machine “could be considered the direct ancestor of the Millionaire”... “the first commercially successful mechanical calculator that could perform a direct multiplication” (Wikipedia).

“Most early calculating machines carried out multiplication as a form of repeated addition… In 1888, the young Frenchman Leon Bollee (1870–1913) of Le Mans constructed a calculating machine which embodied a multiplication table. He completed a better version of the machine in time to exhibit it at the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair held in Paris in 1889, and received a gold medal [the paper offered here present the details of that machine]. This somewhat later version of the machine came to the Smithsonian from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company.

“The large manually operated non-printing direct multiplication calculating machine has an iron base with a brass and steel mechanism and an open framework. A metal box carrying 12 setting levers moves along a bar near the front of machine. In front of it are a multiplier knob and brass disc with 20 teeth. The spaces between the teeth are labeled from 0 to 9 and from 0 to 9 again around the edge. Rotating the multiplier knob moves the metal box, placing it in one of the spaces between the teeth of the disc sets the digit of the multiplier.

“Moving one of the setting levers forward moves forward a multiplication body below it. Each multiplication body is has a rectangular base and rows of vertical pins which represent the multiples of digits from 1 to 9. The pins of the multiplication bodies control the motion of several sets of brass pins mounted vertically over them and linked to the result register. The operating crank with its wooden handle are on the left side. Rotating the crank lifts the box upward so that the multiplication bodies engage the pins.

“On the right side is a lever that may be set at either + or -. Toward the front is a set of 21 cylindrical dials, visible through windows. Each dial shows two digits at any one time. The top row of digits is labeled MULTN and used to show the multiplier in multiplication. The lower row of digits is labeled QUOTT and shows the quotient in division. Above this row of cylinders is a row of 21 dials which shows the result in multiplication and is set with thumbscrews with the divisor in division” (National Museum of American History, Web Portal). Item #1583

CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete full volume. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1889, in Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de L'Academie des Sciences, 109. 4to. Ex-libris bearing only a deaccessioned stamp on the back of the title page and slight ghosting at the spine where a spine label has been removed. Tightly and solidly bound in clean full blue cloth, gilt-lettered at the spine. Solidly and tightly bound. Minor toning within. Very good condition.

Price: $300.00

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