The Life and Times of Shoebox Comptometers

Many of us view the turn of the last century (the 19th, that is) with a deep sense of lose. It was a time when technological development proceeded at a "human" pace, when the giants of invention such as Edison, Bell and Ford dominated the technological / industrial landscape. A time that is all but lost in today's rush to automate the very process of life itself.

(ComptNews2 pic) Discover the flavor of this remarkable era (roughly 1885 thru 1930) when these elegant machines held sway in the offices of every major business in America. When one of America's great economic booms was being fueled by a major new invention each year. When the telephone, the electic light, the phonograph, motion pictures, the automobile and airplane led a "parade of marvels", each more astonding than the last.

As the new century dawned, it would be pronounced a "Golden Age" by Prince Edward, which, indeed, it was. And while fresh wonders seemed to appear at each turn of the calendar, far-sighted researchers were hard at work in uncovering the mysteries of the newest frontier - electronics. But thats another story and one that wouldn't bear its finest fruit for another half-century.

The war years (WWI) and their aftermath would witness a maturing of American industry along with explosive financial speculation that would end on a gray day in October, 1929. The world would never be the same again.

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