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

Georges Lafond

In 1899 french engineer Georges Lafond from Paris patented (German patent DE148810, US patent US653250 and Swiss patent CH19395) an interesting watch-like circular adding machine (see the photo below). In fact, the patents described several different types of adding devices, and only one of them (the circular one) seems to have gone into production.

The stylus-operated disk adder was in production since the early 1900s, manufactured by a famous watchmaker workshop from Geneva—Haas Neveaux & Cie.

Georges Lafond adding machine

Georges Lafond adding machine

It is a metal chromium device, diameter 47 mm, with four sunk silvered revolving counters each with an aperture. In fact, it is a simple form of circular four-dial Pascaline-type calculator where a stylus is used to move the individual wheels to carry out addition and subtraction.

Georges Lafond adding machine patent drawing

Georges Lafond adding machine (patent drawing)

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