This machine, manufactured by Justin Bamberger, enjoyed a short production run between the prototype in 1903 and final production around 1906. It is based on a combination of Napier’s rods (in that it contains an inbuilt multiplication table in the lid which enables products between two numbers to be factored into their partial products) by means of the manual sliders which show the multiples of the multiplicand in the small windows, and an adding machine in the base, based on moveable strips, used for either addition and subtraction, or to add together the partial products to give a final outcome of multiplication or division.

This machine derives in concept from Schickard’s Calculating Clock of 1623 where the Napier’s rod device for that (in the vertical panel) is replaced by the slider Napier’s Rods device in the Omega lid, and the cogged wheels for addition in the base are replaced by the adder in the base, accompanied by other registers (and even a small notebook) for keeping intermediate results. It also reflects some of the work by Moreland published in 1672 who developed several calculating machines drawing on similar principles. The adding machine in the base is similar to the American Locke Adder (see elsewhere in this collection).

There were a number of different designs for the Omega. For example one version of the German machine had an additional dial to act as a further single digit register. This machine was designed for the english speaking market and instead of the single digit dial has the pad to jot down intermediate results.1

An advertisement for the device, in the German magazine Simplicissimus of 9 July 1906 is shown below.2


1 A somewhat garbled account of the working of the machine can be found at A more systematic account based on the manual (in German) but delivered as a set of English Instructions is being developed and will be posted here when ready. (↑)

2 Simplicissimus, Spezial=Nummer, Munchen, 9 July 1906, p. 239. (↑)

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