Stock Number: 7337


For sale, antique patented French calculator with lithographed rollers, and rotating tubes, for calculating percentage rates.


19-1/2 x 8-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches (50x220x6 cm)


c. last quarter 19th century

Country of manufacture


Category: Calculating


THE “CALCULATEUR DIDELIN,” French, c. last quarter 19th century, “Brevete France S.G.D.G. et Etranger.” The 19-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ (50 x 22 x 6 cm) softwood case, with hinged lid and sides, contains a system of five lithographed tin rollers, plus a hinged overlay plate with a total of 150 (!) windows opened and closed by 30 independent shutter slides. The rotating tubes (for units, tens, hundreds, thousands, and ten-thousands) are printed with interest due for 30 different percentage rates (from 0.25% up to 9%). Condition is fine throughout noting a little wear and soiling. It is an intriguing and quite rare specialized calculator; we find no example in the published catalogues of the collection in the Science Museum in London, and but one in the Musee des Arts et Metiers, that one given to the Museum by Monsieur Didelin himself in 1892. 

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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at, and can be contacted at [email protected].

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