Behold the Comptometer

This beautiful object is a comptometer. It is an adding machine which is the predessesor of the digital calculator. According to wikipedia the comptometer was the first commercially successful key-driven mechanical calculator, patented in the USA by Dorr E. Felt in 1887. This fine example is by Felt and Tarrant the company set up by its inventor. I bought it for 10euro at an auction without any idea of its function. I just loved its combination of the technic and decorative in a beautifully sculpted package. It makes a very satisfying 'ding' too when the little handle is pulled to start a new calculation. Mmmm Lovely.