History-Computer

Covering computing, gaming, all of tech

Nystrom

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Key Points: John William Nystrom, a Swedish immigrant who lived in Philadelphia, invented a calculating device, which was presented and received a First Premium at the Franklin Institute Exhibition in 1849. It was patented in 1851. Nystrom, who received his degree in engineering in Stockholm, described his invention in his popular Pocket Book of Mechanics […]

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Moore family

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Key Points The Moore family consists of Charles, Jacob, and Frank Moore. They held several patents in the 19th century. The Moore family is most famous for inventing an adding machine in 1874. They also invented a window shade fixture and a curtain fixture. Moore family Moore family from New York (Charles Carroll Moore (1827-1902), […]

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John Pfeifer’s adding machines

John Pfeifer – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points John Pfeifer is an inventor from the late 19th century with over sixty patents in his name. John Pfeifer is best known for his five-column adding machine with a keyboard. He also invented an adding machine shaped like a cash register called The Adder Little Giant. Who was John Pfeifer? John Pfeifer was […]

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David Nelson

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Key Points David Nelson is an inventor born in Ohio in 1835. He is best know for his early calculator patented in 1860. His calculator was likely invented to help his father, who owned several local businesses, including a hotel, tavern, and merchant store.   History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, David Nelson […]

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Max Mayer

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Max Mayer Key Points: Max Mayer was a German inventor from Munich who designed an adding machine, obtaining a patent for it in 1884. He also held 3 more German patents and two French patents. While evidence points to the fact that some of these devices were […]

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Macauley

James Alvan Macauley – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: In 1896, Alvan Macualey applied for his first patent, which would later become known as US Patent No. 587042, for the cash register. While at Packard, a company known for luxury automobiles, Macualey was instrumental in the development of the very first diesel engine that had the capability of getting an airplane off […]

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Francis Marston

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Francis Marston The Apparatus for Making Calculations of Francis Marston In 1842 a certain Francis Marston of Aston, Parish of Hopesay, County of Salop, England, was granted a British patent №9235 for Apparatus for Making Calculations (see the lower patent drawing). No details are known about this […]

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The practical calculator of Amos Mendenhall (© National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.)

Amos Mendenhall – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: In 1867, Amos Mendenhall of Cerro Gordo, Indiana, patented a practical calculator. During a gold mining endeavor, Mendenhall invented Dredgers; Soil-shifting machines mechanically-driven with digging elements on an endless chain mounted on the floating substructure.  In addition to the calculator and gold mining devices, Mendenhall also held patents on a tricycle and a […]

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William Macnider — Complete Biography, History, & Inventions

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Key Points: William Macnider is remembered for inventing and patenting a ten key calculator in 1884. The administrator of the patent was Quintin Macnider, as the inventor, William Macnider had died sometime before then. The adding machine of William Macnider was appreciated and described in an article in the popular science magazine, Scientific American, vol. […]

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Clarence Locke

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Key Points: Clarence was the inventor of the Locke Adder, a row adder made of stamped tin, paper and cloth. Though not very user-friendly, the machine achieved a modest success over the course of a few years due to a low price and an extensive print advertising campaign. The device was most likely supplanted by […]

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Ernest-Narcisse Lobbé

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Ernest-Narcisse Lobbé Key Points: Ernest-Narcisse Lobbé was a Parisian watchmaker who invented the Additionneur mécanique à touches, one of the first keyboard calculating machines in the world at the time. This one column adding machine is only known to be on paper and no details are known […]

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Melvin Lovell's first patent for cash register and indicator

Melvin Lovell – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Melvin Lovell learned carpentry in his young adult years, also serving the union army during the Civil War with his skills, which he continued to use once back in his home of Pennsylvania. With the backing of the State of Pennsylvannia, Lovell opened the Lovell Manufacturing Company, and grew it into one of […]

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Gustavus Linderoos

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Key Points: Gutavus Linderoos is noteworthy for holding a patent for an early adding machine which is housed at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. He designed the adder specifically to be a compact, cheap and durable instrument for practical use. Gustavus Linderoos, a native of Finland, was a prolific astronomer and […]

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Peter Lindholm adding machine

Peter Lindholm – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: In his short life of just 39 years, Peter Lindholm’s greatest accomplishment was the invention of the Lindholm Adder. The adder, which resembles an old-time cash register, is key-driven, with keys that have corresponding numbers ranging 0 to 9. The machinery resides within a wooden base. Besides his invention, Peter Lindholm taught at […]

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Leonard Nutz lived in St. Louis between 1847 and 1858

Leonard Nutz – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: In 1858, Leonard N. Nutz invented the fourth patented keyboard adder in the US–a single-column adding machine. Up through 1880, the US patent office required inventors to submit a physical model of their creations. No such model exists for Leornard Nutz’s invention. Nutz also designed and built a compass for surveyor Benaiah Robinson […]

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Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Otto Lilienthal was a German aviation pioneer, the first person to fly gliders in a well-documented, repeatable, and effective manner, making the concept of “heavier than air” a reality. Otto Lilienthal wrote Birdflight As the Basis of Aviation which featured over 100 fascinating sketches, graphs, and schematics, as well as engineering assessments, and […]

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Judah Levin's adding machine

Judah Levin Adding Machine Explained — Everything You Need To Know

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Key Points: Judah Levin held patents for 3 different calculating machines, including the Levin Adding Machine, currently housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. His work influenced other subsequent Jewish inventors including Abraham Jakub Stern, Chaim Zelig Slonimski, David Roth, Izrael Abraham Staffel, and Jewna Jakobson. Rabbi Judah Levin held rabbinical positions in […]

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The adding machine of Oskar Leuner.

Oskar Leuner – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Oskar Leuner was a mechanical engineer who founded the Mechanical Institute of Oskar Leuner at the Technical University of Dresden. In 1877 he obtained a patent for a calculating device he designed which he dubbed an Addirstift–the adding pencil. Oskar Leuner’s device resembled a tire pressure meter, featuring a cylindrical sleeve shaped like […]

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The patent drawing of Niels Larsen calculating machine

Niels Larsen – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Nebraska native Niels Larsen made patent history with his invention of calculating machines to aid with taxes and interest. This American inventor also held two other US patents: a candle holder in 1874 and another for a sun-dial in 1884. The device consists of cylinders bearing numbers, the inner cylinder representing hundreds, the […]

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Samuel Kelso – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points Samuel Kelso was an inventor born in 1835 in Scotland. He spent part of his adult life in Canada and America. Samuel Kelso is most famous for inventing a cipher that made adding and subtracting large summer fast and easy. In addition to making several mechanical inventions, Samuel Kelso was also an author, […]

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The patent drawing of adding machine of William Lang.

William Lang Biography: History, Inventions, and Tragedy

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Key Points William Lang was a noise control engineer and teacher born in Boston in 1926. He is most famous for founding the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA and working with Senate to pass the Noise Control Act of 1972. William Lang was proud of his election to the National Academy of […]

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Georges Lafond

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Key Points Georges Lafond was a french engineer who lived at the end of the 19th century. He is most famous for inventing a circular adding machine that looked like a watch. His patent was accepted in 1899 but did not go into commercial production. History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Georges Lafond […]

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Charles Labofish

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Key Points: Charles Labofish emigrated to the US from the Russian Empire in 1888, and held 15 US, Canada and British patents for his inventions, six of them being calculating machines. He also owned patents for typewriters, cyclometers, a log-sawing machine, and an indicating device for bicycles. Charles Labofish authored a book titled Labofish’s Catechism […]

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Landin's Computing Machine

Landin’s Computing Machine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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Key Points: Peter John (P.J.) Landin, a British computer scientist who lived from 5 June 1930 to 3 June 2009, was the first to recognize that people might use the lambda calculus to describe a programming language. He owned other patents for cash registers and recorders, a phonograph, and a motion picture film, among others. […]

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Jehu Hatfield – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Jehu Hatfield was an American inventor that held a patent for machine for computing interest, measuring lumber, and other purposes. Revolving cylinders inside the clock-like machine indicate varied interest sums, principal dollars and cents, and the clock hands show days of the month. Jehu Hatfield as a Pennsylvania native who relocated to New […]

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The patent drawing of adding machine of Milton Jeffers.

Milton Jeffers – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Milton Jeffers’ most notable invention is the simple adding machine (patent in 1863) in which he describes the device as a lever-set non-printing adding machine. In 1868, Jeffers patented a combined fodder cutter and corn husking machine. Jeffers’ adding machine didn’t look anything like the devices we’re familiar with in the modern-day but […]

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Henry House

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Henry House Henry Alonzo House Key Facts: Henry House was an extremely prolific American inventor, who secured over 300 US and foreign patents. Like other inventors of his time, House invented a calculating device. House went on to invent an incredible buttonhole machine that that revolutionized the […]

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Lewis Hosea and William Beardsley

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Lewis Hosea and William Beardsley Key Points: Lewis Hosea and William Beardsley, both wealthy men, obtained a patent for a keyboard adding machine in 1891. This adding machine was intended to produce a simple and compact hand instrument adapted to the use of book-keepers, cashiers, etc., for […]

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Johan Hellström

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Key Points Johan Fredrik Hellström was a machinist from Sweden. In 1879 he invented an adding machine that could calculate sums. His machine made calculating sums in the hundreds of thousands fast and easy. History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Johan Hellström Hellström’s Räknemaskin (calculating machine) Johan Fredrik Hellström was a Swedish machinist, […]

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Christian Hergenroeder

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Christian Hergenroeder Key Points: Christian Hergenroeder was the inventor of an adding machine, the patent model of of which is housed in the collection of National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. C.W. Hergenroeder was born in Germany in 1863 and emigrated to USA in early […]

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Milton's Adding Machine Patent Model

Milton Hinkle  – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points: Very little is known about Milton Hinkle outside of his invention of a simple adding machine, other than that his father was a steamboat owner on the Ohio River. Hinkle’s simple adding machine, patented in 1878, is a similar design to those of Jabez Burns and John Ballou, and the prototype survives in […]

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De Kerniea James Thomas Hiett

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, De Kerniea James Thomas Hiett Key Points: In 1897, De Kerniea James Thomas Hiett obtained a patent for a multi column keyboard adding and printing calculator. His machine was first called the Heitt Adding and Listing Machine, and then Universal Adding Machine from 1900 onward, and went […]

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Calvin Holman

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Calvin Holman  Key Points: A patent model of Calvin Holman’s adding machine is housed in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The brass and cloth device features a cylindrical case that contains two concentric rotating disks with 100 divisions (the digits from 0 to […]

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William Hart

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Key Points William Henry Hart is an American inventor born in the state of New York in 1829. He is most famous for inventing a calculator, which he named Hart’s Mercantile Computing Machine. Mr. Hart’s calculator did reach commercial production and was popular. You can view one on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of […]

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Ferdinand Hebentanz

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Key Points Ferdinand Hebentanz was a watchmaker from Budapest. He invented a keyboard-type adding machine to calculate sums in 1873. His machine had springs that you could wind like a modern clock and was easier to use than other adding machines of that time. History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Ferdinand Hebentanz Ferdinand […]

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Joseph Harris

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Key Points Joseph Harris Jr. is an inventor who lived in the middle of the nineteenth century. Joseph Harris Jr. invented an adding device and several other mechanical devices. The patent for the adding machine was submitted in 1861 but never reached commercial production. History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Joseph Harris Joseph […]

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Eduard Hammenstede

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Key Points Eduard Hammensted was a watchmaker who lived in the 19th century. He invented a column-type adding machine. He submitted the patent in 1882, but his machine was never commercially produced. History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Eduard Hammenstede Eduard Hammenstede On March 31st, 1882 Eduard Hammenstede of Cologne, Germany, received German […]

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Groesbeck

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Key Points John Groesbeck (1834-1884), was a consulting accountant and known as the author of several books, for instance The Crittenden Commercial Arithmetic and Business Manual. Groesbeck took out a US patent for Adding Machine. The original patent had 3 digital positions only, but actually the machine was manufactured with more. Groesbeck’s Adding Machine John […]

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William S. Gubelmann – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points William S. Gubelmann was an American businessman and inventor who held hundreds of patents. He was most famous for his work on cash registers and adding and calculating machines. William S. Gubelmann died in New York on September 26, 1959, aged 96.  Who Was William S. Gubelmann? William Samuel Gubelmann was an American […]

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George Phineas Gordon

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Key Points George Phineas Gordon was an American inventor with over fifty patents. He is most well known for inventing the printing press called the Gordon Letterpress. In 1872 Mr. Gordon started his own factory to manufacture his presses and accumulated a large amount of wealth   History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, […]

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Solomon Pool

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Key Points Emery Hamilton is an inventory from the 1800s with 20 patents in his name. He is most well known for inventing typewriters and adding machines. His Hamilton Automatic is considered one of the masterpieces of 19th-century American typewriter manufacturing. The Automatic is the smallest typebar typewriter ever made and the first typewriter with proportional […]

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William Haines – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points William Haines was an American inventor who invented a mechanical calculator. Mr. Haines’s calculator was patented in 1849. Mr. Haines’s calculator was not very popular at the time and was not commercially produced. Who Was William Haines? William Haines was an American who invented a remarkable mechanical calculator in the 19th century. Unlike […]

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Jean-Paul Garnier – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points Jean-Paul Garnier was a brilliant French mechanic and watchmaker from the 19th century. Jean-Paul Garnier’s career was focused on watchmaking. Paul Garnier was one of the most skillful masters of his time in electric clocks he first applied electric transmission to clocks in France in 1847. Who was Jean-Paul Garnier? Jean-Paul Garnier was […]

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The Golden Gem Adding Machine

Golden Gem Adding Machine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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Key Points The Golden Gem Adding Machine was a portable, small, and easy-to-use mechanical calculator. The moving force behind Golden Gem and Automatic Adding Machine Company was Abraham Isaac Gancher. The device’s overall size is 6.9 cm x 13 cm x 10 cm, and it was quite heavy, weighing up to 750g. 3 Facts about […]

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Fowler’s Tools

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Fowler Key Points George B. Fowler of Chicago, Illinois, was granted his first patent for an adding machine. In 1860s the machine was advertised as the only practical and reliable adding machine in the world. The machine was a slide bar adder, operated by pin or pencil. Fowler’s […]

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Carlo Fossa-Mancini's adding machine Attribution not found

Carlo Fossa-Mancini – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points Carlo Fossa-Mancini is best known for two things: designing and building an aqueduct. Carlo Fossa-Mancini is known for the creation of the Indispensable adding machine. The device is an 8-place adding machine, set by a stylus or keyboard. Who Was Carlo Fossa-Mancini Born in Castelplanio, Italy, Carlo Fossa-Mancini is best known for two […]

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Frederick Lincoln Fuller

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Key Points In 1892 Union Cash Register was awarded the John Scott Medal of the Franklin Institute. Frederick Fuller saw a model of cash register, while working in the shop of the Specialty Manufacturing Company which sparked his interest. His concept was for a machine to help keep track of each sale. Frederick Lincoln Fuller […]

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Juri Diakov

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Key Points Juri I. Diakov (Юрiй И. Дьяковъ), devised a simple row adder. This simple and cheap device went in production in the late 1870s. Juri Diakov applied to the Russian Department of Trade and Manufacture for a 3-years privilege (привилегия, i.e. patent) for the device. History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets: Juri […]

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George Dudley

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, George Dudley Key Points George Wilson Dudley was granted numerous patents in USA, Canada and Great Britain mainly for adding and printing machines. Most of the patents were assigned to Numerograph Manufacturing Company of Charleston. The first calculating machine of Dudley was presented in the 23 May, […]

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Peter Forrester's adding machine

Peter Forrester – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Key Points Peter C. Forrester was the inventor of many important tools and devices including the keyboard adding machine, the drill, the scroll former, and many more. Peter Forrester’s early life remains elusive, even after all these years since his passing. Peter Forrester’s mechanical gate is designed to be opened and closed from either side […]

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