- 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 middle one tens, and the outer one units. Proper movement of the cylinders reveals the tax or interest of a given sum or amount.
Who Was Niels Larsen?
Niels Larsen was a surveyor, accountant, mine-seeker, inventor, and a citizen of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska. Born in 1830, The inventor was popular because of his patent for calculating machines for taxes and interest. He applied for the patent in June 1876 when he was 46 years old and was granted in October of that same year (see US patent No. 183403).
On June 2, 1891, Niels Larsen died in West Point, Nebraska. The cause of his death isn’t available for public knowledge.
- Full Name
- Niels Larsen
- March 4, 2022
- June 2, 1891
- Net Worth
- Place of Birth
- Fields of Expertise
- [“Computer Science”]
- Calculating Machine for Taxes and Interest, A Candle Holder, Solar Compass/Sun-Dial.
Much about Niels Larsen isn’t known. Although records show that he was born in 1830, only his years of service were under record. Technically, Niels Larsen only became a subject of interest when his application for a patent for calculating machines for taxes and interest became approved on October 17, 1876, and also his other two patents for a candle holder in 1874 and sun-dial in 1884.
His parents, education, etc., haven’t been available for public knowledge. However, we’ll regularly update this page whenever we find more information about Niels Early Life.
Niels Larsen served as an ensign and then as a 2nd lieutenant in the artillery of US Marines – steamers Niphon and Grand Gulf – during the Civil War.
After the Civil War, between the late 1860s and early 1870s, Niels Larsen served as a county surveyor of Cuming County, Nebraska.
While serving as a county surveyor in Cuming County, Nebraska, Niels also began working as a surveyor and mine-seeker in Colorado before settling in West Point, which he surveyed and platted in 1869.
Niels Larsen worked as a cashier at West Point National Bank between the late 1880s and early 1890s.
What Is Niels Larsen Known For?
In 1876, when serving as a surveyor in Cuming County, Nebraska, Niels Larsen patented a calculating machine for taxes and interest.
The instrument is designed for calculating taxes and interest with speed and accuracy. It consists of three concentric cylinders, which are movable independently of each other, and the two outer ones are provided with openings, allowing portions of each cylinder to be seen.
The cylinders bear numbers, the inner cylinder representing hundreds, the middle one tens, and the outer one units. By properly moving the cylinders, the tax or interest upon a given sum or amount will be exhibited through a stationary shield.
The three concentric cylinders, A B C, can receive each an independent movement or rotation. The inner cylinder is fixed on a shaft or axis, with its bearings in the stand’s side pieces. The middle and outer cylinders are provided with sleeves, which are movable upon each other and the shaft. Also, both the shaft and sleeves have milled heads for rotating the cylinders.
The shield bears the name of the tax or the number of days or months for interest, and it is perforated in a way that ensures only the amount upon which tax or interest is to be calculated and the amount of the tax or interest are visible.
The operation of the machine for calculating taxes is as follows:
To determine the tax on an assessment of seven hundred and sixty-four dollars, bring figure 4 on the outside or unit cylinder to view in the opening of the shield under the word “assessment,” and let the spring-catch hold that cylinder.
Now bring figure 6 on the middle cylinder to view in the same opening, and in line with figure 4 on the first cylinder, let the spring-catch also hold the middle cylinder. Next, bring figure 7 on the third cylinder to view in the same manner, making the assessment amount readable.
After that, find in the appropriate column for each kind of special tax indicated on the shield three lines of figures – those on the outer cylinder representing the tax on four dollars, those on the second cylinder the tax on sixty dollars, and those on the third cylinder the tax on seven hundred dollars.
The three sums are then mentally added together by the person using the machine and entered into the tax list.
Apart from the patent’s application and approval, nothing else is known about Niels’ calculating machine. Apparently, the machine was never implemented but only remained on paper.
Apart from Niels’ patent for calculating machines for taxes and interest, the inventor also held two other US patents: a candle holder in 1874 and another for a sun-dial in 1884.
Niels Larsen: Marriage, Divorce, Children, and Personal Life
Nothing about Niels Larsen’s marital life is known or available for public knowledge.
On June 2, 1891, Niels Larsen died in West Point, Nebraska.
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