Kevin Twomey – a photographer – in his project, Low Tech, has covered mechanical calculators and how their guts look like. The mechanical calculators are the ancestors of the electronic calculators. These huge metal boxes were the size of a typewriter and used to cost quite a lot back then. In fact, they were not mass-produced but rather prized as creations of art.
The calculators being used come from the collection of Mark Glusker who was a mechanical engineer for Novartis. The guy assembled around 100 of these calculators that were built in 1961-1971. This was the time period when electronic calculators were becoming famous and the manufacturers had stopped building the mechanical ones. The reason being that the electronic calculators were outrunning these obsolete machines no matter what the developers did.
Nowadays even the electronic calculators are being replaced with smartphone apps, however, take a minute and realize that this metal calculator has the ‘look’ that your electronic calculator or the app will never have!