Calculator, 'Calcumeter', metal, designed by James J Walsh, made by H N Morse, America, 1910
This Calcumeter is a currency adding machine which uses cogged disks with horizontally mounted gears and numeral disks (this design was originally employed in the Pascal machine, 1642). The Calcumeter came in many configurations (48 documented versions) - on this version the wheels are divided into pounds, shillings and pence.
This Calcumeter had limitations such as no reset (reset modification made after 1908) so all dials must be individually reset to zero, subtraction is not possible and there is no method for checking entries. However it was produced for 20 years, exported and built of quality materials to a high standard.
The mechanism incorporates a leaf spring for each digit which secures the movement of the wheels into fixed positions, prevents reverse movement and when a carry stage is reached release energy making the movement easy. This is of particular advantage in this design as the force required to perform a large carry would be substantial.
Competition would have been experienced at the time from those manufacturing similar products such as the Burroughs and Comptometer adding machines, however the Calcumeter was one-tenth the cost. The popularity of the Calcumeter probably began to experience a decline with the introduction of the "Lightning" calculator, which was priced to compete and could perform calculations involving subtraction. Other reasons for the eventual demise of the Calcumeter would be that serious users switched to improved machines and the plethora of adding machines which began to appear on the market at that time (1915).
This particular example was inherited by the donor and its exact use is unknown.
The design of this type of mechanism dates back to the Pascal Machine (1642). An impression on the device states - patented in Great Britian. The Calcumeter was designed by James J. Walsh. The 1907 catalog lists 64 different models, with from 6 to 10 dials, with and without resetting dials, and including special models for fractions, grain, architects, English money, and Indian money. Manufactured by Herbert North Morse, Trenton, N.J., USA around 1910.