Shoebox Comptometers

Credits, Sources and Acknowledgements

Technical and professional
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Ray McKay, premiere fountain of knowledge about calculators of all kinds, particularly Comptometers. Much of the technical information on cleaning and repairing was generously provided by Ray who lives in Melbourne with his wife of 40 years, a former Comptometer operator.

Bob Otnes, slide rule and calculator collector extrodinaire. Bob together with Rodger Shepherd, founded the Oughtred Society in 1991 which is named after William Oughtred, who invented the slide rule in 1630. This non-profit society is international, has about 425 members and publishes the Journal of the Oughtred Society twice yearly.

James Redin, calculator enthusist and operator of THE complete website on the history of ALL calculators down thru the ages. GREAT resource!

Michael Hancock, long time Field Engineer for Burroughs. has provided an historic chronology of the Burroughs Corporation. He also has his own website that includes much, much more on the Burroughs machines and corporation over the years. Especially interesting is a page showing some of the more significant litigation documents central to the dispute between Felt&Tarrant and Burroughs (then The American Arithmometer Company) concerning Comptograph patents in the years 1897-1906.

Kevin Odhner has provided us the nice homepage composite logo. He also runs a most interesting website devoted to the Odhner calculator.

The Victor Museum is an exceptionally well done look at the history of Victor.

Comptometer Schools and Operators
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We are grateful for Ana Logue's nostalgic recount of 'temp' Comptometer operators in the mid 60s.
Family recollections
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Dorr Eugene Felt Tippens, grandson of the inventor, Dorr Eugene Felt, has provided much information on the Felt family history and owns two very early machines.

Mary Elizabeth Schmidt, granddaughter of the inventor, Dorr Eugene Felt, has been very generous with her rememberences of the Felt family. Mary Elizabeth also provided several key lists of patent numbers and model information.

Felt & Tarrant Employees
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Alex Kinmond began work at Felt & Tarrant in Toronto, Canada on August 4th 1937 as an oiler. In 1956 he became Canadian General Manager and stayed with the company thru the Victor merger, retiring ten years later. There is much more recorded on the "Recollections" page.
Alex has provided this website with much information, pictures, invaluable documents and insights, most of which would have been lost to history were it not for his interest and generosity.
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Jay M.Goldman of Montreal has located copies of several shoebox-era documents including the invaluable H-model Repair manual published in 1919. His collection includes (as of early 2001) one of each shoebox model except a "B" as well as a number of other early 20th century calculating machines.
Reprints of Manuals
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Office Machine Americana, a fine source for old office machine manuals, carries the following reprints for shoebox Comptometer operations:

...CO1. Methods of Operating the Comptometer; 1921 Edition. Price $14*
...CO2. Easy Instructions for Operating The Comptometer. This manual covers the Models J,K&M as well as the newer models 922 & 3D11. Price $8*
...CO3. Methods of Operating the Comptometer; later models Edition. Price $5*
...CO4. "Stop to Think"" The Comptometer "Quicker Than Thought". Price $5*
...CO5. Applied Mechanical Arithmetic as Practised on the Comptometer; Has over 600 pages of Mathematical applications that can be performed on the Comptometer.. Price $60*
...CO6. Easy Instructions for Operating the 'Controlled Key' Comptometer. An instruction book for the "Copper Colored" Model H. Circa 1920 Price $9*
...CO8 Felts first patent (1887) 4 Wonderful Drawings - 6 pages operational detail. Printed on very nice paper. Price $6*
...CO9 Service Manual for Model 'H' and Other Early Models Comptometer Key Drive Calculator. Price $16.50*

* prices as of August 2002, plus $4.50 s&h in USA.

Office Machines Americana
eMail Ernie Jorgensen

The American Digest of Business Machines, James H. McCarthy, 1924, American Exchange Service, 35 So. Dearborn St., Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

( reprints available from Michael Hancock )

Books (mostly out of print)
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Applied Mechanical Arithmetic, written and published by Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company, 1914, 1920. Out-of-print; reprints available here.

Origin of Modern Calculating Machines, J.A.V.Turck, 1921, reprint by Arno Press, 1972.

It All Adds Up, The growth of Victor Comptometer Corporation, Edwin Darby, 1968, publisher unknown.

The Calculating Machines, Ernst Martin, 1925, publisher: Meyer.
1992 reprint by the Charles Babbage Institute, No. 16 in the MIT Press/Tomash Publishers, ISBN 0-262-13278-8, translated and edited by Peggy Aldrich Kidwell and Michael R. Williams 1992 (out of print).

The Age of Enterprise, Thomas C. Cochran, 1942, The Macmillan Company, reprint by Harper and Row, 1961.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231 where copies of patents are available for $3 postpaid. 1-703-305-4350.

Policy Statement
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The policy of this website regarding credits and acknowledgements is simple. If authorship is found to be valid, we'll either give appropriate credit or remove the material, your call.

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