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Curta Calculator
Type I, Serial #68909

This strange looking device has one of the most interesting stories in computer history. The Curta mechanical calculator was designed by Curt Herzstark during World War II while a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. It was originally earmarked as a gift to Hitler to celebrate the winning of the war. Instead, Mr. Herzstark took his invention to the small country of Lichtenstein, where it was manufactured and sold as the Curta Calculator.

Originally selling for $120, the little machine was very popular among certain groups, especially car rally enthusiasts. Although many were sold (140,000 of both types I and II), they are considered to be a rare and collectible item, especially those that are still operational.

Donor: Sam Spade


2006 San Diego Computer Museum
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