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Practical Computing Machine

Practical Computing Machine Advertising Button Museum
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A black and white sketch of a hand holds a small computing device that reads 'Arithmachine'. Black text wraps around the outside edge of the button. 

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"For Particulars Regarding Goldman's Arithmachine Address The International Arithmachine Co., 141-149 LaSalle St., Chicago, 380-384 Canal St. New York." 

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The Arithmachine, and later versions Contostyle and Arithstyle, are the creations of Henry Goldman who arrived in the US in 1881 from Vienna. The Arithmachine (1898) was a small mechanical device (4 ½" x 1 ½" x 3 ½") weighing about a pound that was similar to an adding machine but also performed multiplication, division, and more complicated functions using a curved stylus. "One can carry it like a notebook in the pocket"

The machine was manufactured in Chicago but the International Arithmachine Co. also had offices in New York City where the Arithstyle was later manufactured. It was exhibited at the Pan-American Exposition in New York in 1901 and featured in a number of magazines. The company marketed the product to bookkeepers, banks and related industries as: "Brain resting, labor saving. Readily understood. Easily operated." "Saves Experts Mental Strain!" The adding machine also made it to Berlin, where Goldman traveled in 1905 to arrange for manufacture of the Arithmachine under the name Contostyle. Goldman's death in 1912 seems to have halted development of this early computing machine.


Arithstyle Adding Machine. (n.d.). Retrieved August 01, 2020, from

Goldman's Arithmachine [Advertisement]. (1900). Meyer's Brothers Druggist, 21, 39-39.

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