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A Brief Introduction of Chinese Mechanical Calculator


Bildbeschreibung (Name, Eigentümer/Quelle des Bildes)

A Brief Introduction of Chinese Mechanical Calculator

Everyone knows that China is one of the first countries that invented tools for calculation. For most of the collectors of calculating instruments, when talking about China, the first thing that they mention most probably will be the famous abacus. Unfortunately, Chinese is not very good at mechanical system like some peoples in Europe.

Encouraged by some of the veteran collectors, I would like to show a mechanical calculator made in China, so that the people could share some informations which might interest them. This will be one of the two machines made in China that I will introduce.

The name of the machine is Wenhua, meaning Culture in Chinese. On the right side of the lower part of the machine, there is the name of the manufacturer: Red Star Factory of Tianjin. Tianjin is a city near Beijing. Before 1949, the industry there was much developed than Beijing.

For the people who pay their attention to the patent of machine, I have nothing to tell, because there was no patent registered in China since 1949, when the Communists took over China, and many patent already registered were no longer respected. The patent system was wasted. And the machine is not developed in China, but a copy of Japanese Tiger.

It is identical to Tiger. Almost everything. The early versions had their serial number on the left side of upper part of the machine, and on the late versions, the model, the serial number appear on a small aluminium plate on the back of the machine.

This one was produced in 1978, when their terminator, the electronic toys started to invade the market.

I believe this is one of the latest mechanical calculators ever built. Or at least the latest models. It was born not for being used as a calculator.

Model: BSL-201 No. of Machine: 13402 Date of Production: Oct., 1978

Wang Weijun

From Beijing, China

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