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Facit C1-13 Mechanical Calculator

I am sure plenty of Jalops are also fond of all things mechanical, as am I.

Illustration for article titled Facit C1-13 Mechanical Calculator

Yesterday I scored this sweet Swedish-made Facit C1-13 mechanical calculator, made in 1960, on a garage sale in Ansbach, Germany. I paid 20 Euro for 15-pound arithmetometer (that's the actual name for a mechanical calculator!). The seller said it worked but he didn't know how to operate it.

I brought the machine home, cleaned it a bit, and started figuring out how to use this beast. The 54-year old machine works flawlessly! It took me a few minutes to figure out how the single crank, three levers and key board all work together, but within less than 20 minutes I had figured out how to do addition, subtraction and multiplication on it. Division took me a bit, but after a YouTube video in Spanish I had it figured out.


I have seen some of these same machines on eBay from 120-250 bucks, so I got a sweet deal on it. I don't think I'll sell mine, perhaps clean it better, restore the face type on its cover, just display it at home. Let this machine serve as a reminder that some time in our recent past we had products that were made to last and operate forever, unlike today's overpriced products that last no more than three years before they either break or are obsolete.

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