Were there calculators in the 50s and 60s?

If not calculators, anything similar? Please help, I need to write a newspaper article!

17 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    I don't want to rob you of the experience of researching your own newspaper article, but here are a couple of things to look at as you get strated.

    THE ABACUS (not electronic)




    Maybe you'll want to interview somebody who was around - or doing business - in the 1950s. They will be able to give you first hand information about how they calculated things or did their banking and such.

    From what I've heard, large calculators with a lot of buttons and a pull-down arm used to be located in the lobby of the bank. If you needed to add up your deposit, you'd go over to this monster of a machine and type in your sums.

    Q: Did older calculators make way for the computers we use today?

  • 1 decade ago

    Laughing here - you young ones feel that was the Dark Ages...yes, Sweet Pea there were calculators...there were even computers!!


    William Seward Burroughs Born 1857 Rochester, N.Y - Died 1898

    In 1885, Burroughs filed his first patent for a calculating machine. However, his 1892 patent was for an improved calculating machine with an added printer. William Seward Burroughs invented the first practical adding and listing machine - National Inventors Hall of Fame.



  • 1 decade ago


    The Friden Calculating Machine Co., Inc., was founded in the 1930's by Swedish-born Carl M. Friden. Once customers purchased and started using the machines, Friden calculators quickly gained the reputation of being the 'Cadillac' of calculators.

    Read website, very interesting



    Victorian "Calculator"

    Here is the oldest calculator: Ropp's Commercial Calculator. A "calculator" it is - says so right on the red cover. Copyright by C. Ropp of Bloomington, Illinois, in 1887, at the height of the Victorian age.



    Archaeologists inform us that the earliest forms of arithmetic were developed in Africa, circa 18,000 BC, with the advent of the Ishango Bone. Fortunately mathematics has developed considerably since this primitive technique was disposed of. Much of the mathematics that we use today is based on the discoveries of ancient civilizations, and in particular the Greeks. Living in a practical world, the discoveries of Greek, Babylonian, and Egyptian mathematicians were suitable for application, and were used for practical purposes.


  • 1 decade ago

    The answer to your question is yes... in fact, there was a means of calculating long before the calulator came along. Click on the link below to see the information and history of the calculator.

    Good luck with your article :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    There were mechanical calculators. They mainly did addition and subtraction and sometimes multiplication -- nothing "fancy" like today's calculators.

    My mom used a mechanical adding machine called a comptometer in the back office of a department store, back in the 50s.

    The first electronic calculators with digital displays started coming out in the mid-to-late 60's.

    Golden Smile already listed the website I was going to list. (10 points for him)



  • 1 decade ago

    ADDING MACHINES WERE AROUND BEFORE CALCULATORS I think calculators came out in the late 60's early 70's.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yeh, the Romans used something like calculators. Butnot EXACTLY calculators :D



  • 1 decade ago

    Portable calculators became generally available in the early 70s.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sliderules. In the early 70s, calculators were expensive and pretty rare and you couldn't use them during exams.

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