Léon Bollée’s calculating machine was the first (after two comparatively forgotten machines by Barbour and Verea) to succeed as a true mechanical multiplying calculator, utilising an internal multiplication table ‘pre-programmed’ in brass to provide instant multiplications at a single turn of the handle.1

An example of the one of his machines which won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, is displayed amongst the Scientific instruments at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, and is shown below.

This collection does not contain such a machine! But it does contain a report of the development of this “New Calculating Machine of Very General Applicability”, from “The Manufacturer and Builder”, of July 1905.


1 See for example, http://history-computer.com/MechanicalCalculators/19thCentury/Bollee.html (↑)

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