Thomas de Colmar "Piano Arithmometer" [アリトモメートル]

Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar (1785-1870) was commissioned to build an arithmometer for the 1855 Paris Exposition. The whole mechanism, which consisted of 15 keys for input and allowed for 30 places of results, was mounted in a black cabinet resembling a piano and decorated with gilded filagree. In spite of its size, the machine was easily movable, accomplished operations with rapidity and had a good clearing action. The mechanism of the "piano" arithmometer, which won a medal at the Exposition, was exactly the same as Thomas's successful regular table model.


"The Piano Arithmometer was built for the 1855 Exhibition in Paris. From there it probably passed on to his son, Thomas de Bojano, and then to the Comte de Ronseray, the grandson of de Colmar. The latter loaned it to the 1920 exhibition of calculating devices put on in Paris by La Societe d'Encouragement pour L'Industrie Nationale. It was published in their Bulletin.

IBM owns TWO of the nine known examples of the Pascal machine. The Watson/IBM collection is awesome. It apparently is distributed to several locations.

The Watsons, father and son, of IBM, collected art (had a fine gallery for their collection of paintings in New York City) and calculating devices.

Your local library may have a copy of a book titled "A Computer Perspective", by the office Charles & Ray Eames, Harvard University Press, 1973. The book is about an exhibit shown in the IBM Exhibit Center in NYC. It moved, I think, to the Field Museum in Chicago, where it was shown for a long time, and now is in the possession of the FDM in Germany.

Another reference is Stephen Johnston's article "Making the Arithmometer Count" in the March 1997 issue of the BULLETIN OF THE SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT SOCIETY. A lot of excellent information, thoroughly researched."