The Curta Calculator

May 23, 2008 at 4:18 pm (amazing things, design/gadget lust, movies/video/clips)

From Boing Boing Gadgets, here is a video about the Curta — an incredibly beautiful, hand-cranked mechanical calculator. The video shows it in action, in all its magic and elegance, including its inner workings. Apparently, the Curta was invented in the early 1940s by a prisoner at a concentration camp. It can do all kinds of things, just like your average pocket calculator, but with satisfying clicks instead of the cold silence of the digital screen.

Very sadly, they haven’t been made for over thirty years.



  1. Emily said,

    That narrator is hilarious.

  2. Daisy said,


  3. Tyler said,

    lol goodbye

  4. Emily said,


  5. kyledeb said,

    Dear Emily and Daisy,

    I just noticed you linked to Citizen Orange and I wanted to thank you. Send me an email when you get the chance at kyle at citizenorange dot com. I’d be interested in getting in touch with either of you. I hope all is well, and I’m glad you have time to read about the migrant struggle in addition to the important topics you write on here.

  6. Tyler said,

    This is so cool and it does have a musical quality. I said goodbye because I was flabbergasted when I first watched the video! Would you mind if I just copy your blog, word for word, and use it as my own content on my own blog? JUST KIDDING! hahah

  7. Old Mechanical Calculators « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] mechanical calculators. The first half or so is all about the wonderful Curta, which we’ve talked about here before. The post goes on to feature clunking Soviet arithmometers, which look sort of like a cross between […]

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