Since 1910: A Brief History of Marchant Calculators



<- page 2 of 8 ->


1915 - The world's first electrically powered calculator.



Marchant's first factory, occupied in 1913.




The First Electrically Operated Calculator

A consuming passion to improve the product was the rule in those early days even as it was in later years.. From this came a first in the world-wide history of calculating machines – electrical operation

(Ed. Note. To the best of my knowledge one of these machines has yet to be located).

The “Standard” model was motorized ending the “coffee grinder action.” This major step forward in calculator development was recognized by a special award conferred on the company at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915.

The Factory Destroyed

By 1919, several models in addition to the ‘Standard” had been developed, manufactured and sold. The company had forged ahead steadily, but progress of the enterprise was cruelly halted on a November night in 1919.

A fire of unknown origin swept through the entire factory, leaving only gaunt walls and a jumble of wrecked production equipment. Employees rallied immediately to the task of building anew, hauling out from the ruins the usable machinery and tools and reconstructing both equipment and the building.

Soon regular construction crews were on the job and the factory was restored to its original form. The work was completed in 1920 and normal production was resumed.

By 1923 sales offices had been established in New York, Boston, Chicago and 21 other cities. Foreign distributors had been appointed in Europe and South America. By 1924 a national maintenance service department had been organized.