Vintage Calculators Web Museum
A celebration of old calculators showing the evolution from mechanical calculator to pocket electronic calculator
- Mechanical & early electronic desk calculators.
- Strange hand-held calculators.
- Articles, photographs, and databases from the archives of the International Association of Calculator Collectors.
- Information and photographs for those interested in the history of technology.
- British and sterling currency calculators.
A revolution in calculating machines took place between the early 1960s and the late 1970s. It was during this vintage period that the electronics for calculators was at the cutting edge of electronics research. Calculators evolved from large, expensive, mechanical machines to cheap, electronic, credit card sized devices. The development of micro-electronics for calculators was an important phase in the history of technology, which included the development of the microprocessor.
This fascinating story is illustrated here with -
- Mechanical calculators - both electrically driven and hand operated.
- Early electronic calculators - using vacuum tubes (cold-cathode tubes/valves), discrete transistors, cathode ray tube displays, delay-line memories, small- & medium-scale integrated circuits.
- Early hand-held calculators with LED, fluorescent, and early LCD displays.
The increasing capability of the electronic integrated circuits can be seen, which led to the microprocessor and the personal computer.
This site is dedicated to those who had to use slide-rules and mechanical calculators at school, university, and at work, back when the idea of a pocket electronic calculator was just a dream, and when they were eventually developed and went on sale having one was still a dream since at that time they were unaffordable for most people.
The objective of this site is not to simply show large numbers of calculators but to feature representative examples of the various types, and highlight the main steps in the evolution from mechanical to cheap hand-held electronic calculators.
A separate section deals with British calculators, including models for the old British sterling (pounds, shillings and pence - £sd) money system before decimalisation, and other non-decimal calculators.
Minor updates to this site are constantly being made.
Last significant update 6th November 2017 Update Information
Click here for Vintage Calculator News
If you have news of any calculator event please get in touch so that details can be displayed here.
1) Featured Mechanical Calculators
New Calculator Articles
The latest articles added to the "Collecting Calculators" section:
Please note that this is a virtual calculator museum which only exists as photographs and text on this website, not as a physical display of calculators anywhere.
None of the calculators displayed is for sale.
The Vintage Calculator Web Museum is interested in acquiring early electronic calculators, and also calculator operating manuals, service manuals, teaching manuals, books, catalogs, and brochures.
If you have anything that you are willing to donate please contact me.
Your comments, information, corrections, photographs of vintage calculators for the photo library, etc., will be gratefully received and used to enhance the site. - Please leave a message.
Hints on navigating the site -
The navigation bars, in general, are at the bottom of each page - Press the "End" key on your keyboard to go to there.
Each of the sections shown above is separate.
Some pages occur more than once, in different sections. For example, the Anita Mk VII occurs in the "Desk Electronic" section and the "Anita" section.
A "" character before a year indicates "about that year".
The site is updated as new information and photographs become available.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is presented in good faith. While we make great efforts to list accurate details we take no responsibility for any consequences for errors that may unintentionally be present. Note that even over the few decades since the calculators shown here were new it can be very difficult to judge the accuracy of information provided by the various sources that have been used. Be aware that information presented here may be updated as further detail becomes available.
This site is member of the Calculator Collecting Ring.
This Calculator Collecting site owned by Nigel Tout.
You may also be interested in my site specifically about the Bell Punch Company and its ANITA calculators, including the world's first electronic desktop calculator, at http://anita-calculators.info/.
Interested in 1940s computers, WWII coding machines & code-breaking, old computers and military communications? - Try the Bletchley Park museum at www.bletchleypark.org.uk and The National Museum of Computing with their Vintage Computers and Calculators at www.retrobeep.com .
Also interested in preserved steam railways ? - Try the Great Central Railway at www.gcrailway.co.uk - the world's only double track preserved steam railway.
I also have a site showing the remains of the old Great Central Railway through Leicester at www.gcrleicester.info, and a site with old photographs of railways in that area at http://www.nigeltout.com/html/railway_photo_galleries.html.
© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout 2000-2018 except where noted otherwise.