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Arithmometer - Thomas de Colmar, No. 1243, 1875 Object Reg. No: ST 034692

Thomas de Colmar arithmometer, No. 1243, 1875. Capacity of 8 x 9 x 16 figures. Calculating machine designed in 1820 by Charles X. Thomas de Colmar, and manufactured from the 1840s to 1920s. It was the first commercially successful calculating machine and could be used for addition, subtraction, division and mulitiplication.

This example used for astronomical and meteorological calculations at Melbourne Observatory.
Capacity of 8 x 9 x 16 figures. A lever sets the machine for "addition and multiplication" or "subtraction and division".
Statement Of Significance:
This arithmometer is of historical signficance for its association with Melbourne Observatory. It is not clear when Melbourne Observatory acquired the arithmometer; it may have been transferred from another government department. Museum Victoria holds arithmometers with closely related serial numbers 1145, 1242 and 1247. No 1242 [ST 026409] has an adjacent serial number to this object and was acquired from the Melbourne Mint; the two were probably purchased at the same time.

The arithmometer is of scientific significance for its likely use at Melbourne Observatory to reduce astronomical and geophysical measurements for research and publication, including publication of Melbourne star catalogues and geomagnetic measurements.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Melbourne Observatory
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 18 cm (Height), 68 cm (Width), 32 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: arithmometers, calculating devices, mechanical calculators
Themes this item is part of: Melbourne Observatory Collection, Information & Communication Collection, Positional Astronomy at Melbourne Observatory, Weights & Measures at Melbourne Observatory, Melbourne Observatory & Standard Time in Victoria, Astrographic Catalogue, Transits of Venus, 1874 & 1882, Buildings at Melbourne Observatory, Star Observations & Personal Equation, Meteorology at Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1908, Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1944, Geodetic Survey of Victoria, 1858-1872
Primary Classification: COMPUTING & CALCULATING
Secondary Classification: Calculating
Tertiary Classification: mechanical
User: Melbourne Observatory, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia, 1875

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