Object of the week: Original Odhner


Today’s object is an adding machine entitled the Original Odhner and made by Goteborg Sverige. The Odhner Arithmometer was a very successful pinwheel calculator invented in Russia in 1873 by W.T. Odhner, a Swedish immigrant.  Odhner thought of his machine in 1871 while repairing a Thomas’ Arithmometer (which was the only mechanical calculator in production at the time) and decided to replace its heavy, bulky Leibniz cylinder by a lighter, smaller pinwheel disk.  This is why the two machines share the same name but look completely different. If you have more information about this artefact that would be useful for our catalogue, contact the museum on 0800 111 323 or museum@stdc.govt.nz, Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki Heritage Collection 1984.256.1.

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