Curta Type I - Manual Calculator - 1947

Contributed by Alan Ogilvie

Curta Type I - Manual Calculator - 1947

The Curta (Type I) began production in 1947. However it was designed and developed from 1930. This particular one was probably made around 1965.

Designed and developed by Curt Herzstark, of the Austrian Calculating Machine Manufacturing Company, and later mass manufactured by the Curta division of Contina AG of Liechtenstein.

Behind this object is an interesting tale spanning 1905 until the 1970s. An interview in 1987 with Curt, by the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota, touches upon the early days of calcuators and the disruption of the World Wars I and II. The interview also contains an account of his own arrest and internment in 1943 at Buchenwald concentration camp, where he completed the design of the Type I, and how things changed as the cheaper electronic calculator forced it from market.

Interview transcript here:

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