The next time you hear that old expression "They don't make them like they used to", say Thank God!
Think of these old mechanical calculators.... then think about designing one of these.... and without using CAD !
My first reaction to these types of nostalgic stories is... this took a lot of patience, prototyping, and more... Now we have fabulous tools like Synchronous Technology that allows one person to do the job of many in just hours, that took months only a few decades ago.
My dad was a CPA for 50 years and I remember him using one of these. It was a mechanical marvel and very very heavy!
I also like the Curta calculators. They have an incredible story behind them. I would really like to have one, but they are quite expensive.
Bowling pin setters are also very interesting - all mechanical - after the first roll they have to pick up the pins and put them back in the same place even if they've been nudged out of place during the first roll.
A perusal of ebay for mechanical calculators is fascinating.
Curtas go for around $1k. Other types go for as low as about $30. U.S. dollars.
Can you imagine something even more complicated and on a smaller scale? Take a look at this:
Also made without a computer. It's an interesting story.
"Time to own up Bob - that's your next entry for the rendering competition"
No, this is the next Solid Edge design challenge for SEU2015. Find and correct the bad part then animate the assembly!