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The comptometer was invented by Dor Eugen Felt in the 1980's in America. Dorr E Felt started his first prototype during the Thanksgiving holidays of 1884. Because of his limited amount of money, he used a macaroni box for the outside box, and skewers, staples, and rubber bands for the mechanism inside. This prototype, called the macaroni box, is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Units like the one shown were leased in large numbers by companies such as Sumloc Comptometer, who Purchased the rights in England in 1960, until electronic adding machines replaced them. See Item A1157. The machines worked by adding only and other functions were completed by progressive use of the keys.
Similar to the Sumlock machines leased by the bell Punch Company.
Not all Comptometers are of Bell Punch origin. Many were made and marketed by others, whether Bell Punch had there own manufacturing base for there machines is not clear. This model Model L.C. 912/SF/6069 of unknown manufacture could have been made in America and imported, then leased (as they usually were) by any number of companies.

This machine is Marked 'The London Computer Corporation'.

Your comments:

  • I went to Sumlock Comptometer College in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1961. First job 12 weeks later in Davidson & Pickering. Loved it, amazing machine.
    .......... Sandra, Whitley Bay, 5th of June 2024

  • I went to Sumlock comptometer college in Nottingham 1977 , my mother was a comptometer operator and worked at Stanton and Stavely , Ilkeston , Raleigh , Nottingham and Sunblest Bakery nott8ngham , she also did temping where some firms of auditors would request my mum as she was fast and accurate . I still have her comptometer and all my calculating charts.
    .......... Sue Grainger , Nottingham, 16th of February 2020

  • I went to the Felt and Tarrant Comptometer School in Deansgate Manchester.
    The machine was very easy to use and we did short cuts, rather than stretch up from 6 to 10 we would key the numbers 1-5 to make up total. I still do this on my computer.
    I worked in accounts at Thomas French , Refuge (they had a huge computer room) really the beginning of the end for comptometers and Wylex. All using the comptometer. Thankfully mine were all electronic, but still had to depress quite a number of the keys at once sometimes, really enjoyed my job.
    .......... Barbara Gierc, Hamilton New Zealand , 26th of April 2014

  • As a young female, just leaving school at aged 15, I worked at the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) in Balloon Street, Manchester from the early 1950's. I was trained to use the Comptometer and still have the + - x and divide badge. I think the brand name of my particular Comptometer was the National Cash Register? (Although Felt & Tarrant seems to ring a bell - if you'll pardon the pun!) Of course Manchester was famous for its follow up to the Comptometer, by creating the world's first world's stored-program electronic digital computer in June 1948.
    .......... Now Mrs. Pamela Sinclair (Nee Davies when in Manchester), Oulton village, Stone, Staffordshire, UK, 1st of October 2013

  • My mother ran a Chemist shop and would do all the accounts on this sort of calculator I remember the noise of the keys being depressed as she work them for the totals. Now proudly on display in our lounge.
    .......... Judy Carwright, Gee Cross. Stockport. Cheshire Uk England, 7th of April 2010

  • I worked on these machines for 25 years and this one is a sumlock, Made by Bell Punch of London, I worked on all of the machines that were made Until the sad end of the company, Rockwell closed the company and got rid of all the staff,
    .......... M. Escott, Bristol England, 15th of October 2009

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