Visit the website for all things arithmometer, the French-based The site includes a biography of inventor Thomas de Colmar; a brief description of the device, as well as detailed descriptions of its component parts and descriptions of each known model; a library of documents related to the machine, including some written by de Colmar himself; videos and animated examples of the arithmometer; and more!

For a more streamlined historical examination of the arithmometer, read the well-researched article “Making the Arithmometer Count,” which discusses the machine’s design and development, but focuses mainly on the arithmometer’s commercialization and the process with which the machine was socially accepted as a calculating device.

Read the 1851 patent that de Colmar filed with the English government for ownership of the arithmometer.

Other Media

Investigate a CAD model of the arithmometer developed by a team at Cornell.


The Universal History of Computing, Georges Ifrah, pp. 127