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Calculators and the MoMA in New York

Last week I went with my family to New York, and we spent quite a lot of time in museums. I was really impressed by the Metropolitan - for me, miles better than even the Louvre or Prado in Madrid or Paris respectively (leaving aside for a while the Louvre building). But I guess that this is of no interest for a reader of this blog. 

What might be of interest is  visit to another interesting museum: the MoMA, as well in New York. Among masterpieces of modern art, there was a row of calculators:


It seems that the curator has a bent for Italian design, more specifically for Mario Bellini and the different models of the Divisumma series. This is not Datamath or, guys!

Here are the examples above one by one:

The first is an Olivetti 19. If you ask me, I have seen nicer models...


The one below says Underwood 280  - a printing model:


This is the Olivetti Divisumma 18, by Maario Bellini. Observe the seamless rubber keyboard - neat!


And here is the Olivetti Divisumma 28, as well by Mario Bellini, as well with a rubber seamless keyboard.


Notice anything particular about the above calculators? There is no screen! They were just printing machine. 

Googling these models comes a little more information about them. They were produced around 1973 (when HP knew already how to produce an HP35!), and they are considered design icons. It is said that the 18 model is exceedingly difficult to find. 

Additional investigation shwos that there are more units belonging to MoMA, just no on display. Here are some more pictures:

A Sinclair: 


Paulus Van Leeuwen


A Braun, designed by Dietrich Lubs:


Another Braun, designed by none other than Dieter Rams (who designed a lot of Braun products, from appliances to loudspeakers. Sometime I will write on the Braun LE1, a Rams-ized version of the Quad ESL-57 and that is very sought after. Probably one of the finest speakers ever made)


Older Olivettis:


Newer Olivettis (Logos series - I have seen quite a lot of one of them in my life):

CRI_211339.jpgCRI_211363.jpg....and lets stop here.

Frankly, I think that the HP12c or 15c would have a place here. Probably as well some of the 22-25 calculators as well, and the 45, 55 and 80. 

I do not like any HP in green colour - from the 67 to the 48gx. The 48SX should belong as well to MoMA.


Comments: 2
More about: MoMA, calculators, hp15c

Comments: 2

Susan Coleman |
RE: Calculators and the MoMA in New York
Just today I was on Pinterest and saw a post for an Olivetti typewriter which lead me via Google to your blog. I have the Olivetti Divisumma 28, but the power cord has gone missing. Any ideas on how I would find one? I have several rolls of paper. My father worked for Olivetti in the '60's and '70's and I held on to this piece over the years. Thanks.
RE: Calculators and the MoMA in New York
There are several forums or mail lists you can use - for example

There you can find many references to Olivetti, and expertise as how to find parts, etc.


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