Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanical or electromechanical calculator; an adding machine without a crank, driven instead by keypress.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A calculating machine; an arithmometer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A key-actuated machine for performing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It has nine keys and one lever for each column of figures; the keys actuate the levers, and the level's figure-wheels which indicate results.

Etymologies

Trade name of Felt and Tarrant Manufacturing Company, apparently a blend of compute and meter, meaning "measure". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For the whole of the rest of the week he had sat in the sitting-room of his Southsea flat plodding through endless computations with slide rule, graphs, and the little black comptometer.

    In Spite of Their Declaration of Bombs

  • Without a comptometer to hand, it was difficult to say which of the two generals was wearing the more decorations.

    Where Eagles Dare

  • Nickleby an impostor whose motives were not to be computed by a self-respecting comptometer.

    Every Man for Himself

  • These have been introduced by Stettner (1882), Max Mayer (1887), and in the comptometer by Dorr Z.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 "Bulgaria" to "Calgary"

  • Bookkeeping work, especially in the positions held by girls, is frequently combined with comptometer or adding machine work, with typing, billing, filing, or statistical work; but rarely, except in the small office, are bookkeeping and stenography -- the Siamese Twins of traditional and commercial training -- found linked together.

    Wage Earning and Education

  • Only he compromised by making the girl a comptometer operator instead of a stenographer, and a redhead instead of a blonde.

    Murder Can Be Fun

  • "Young lady, where's your comptometer?" he demanded, after he had made a quick survey of the office.

    When Egypt Went Broke

  • During World War II she worked for General Motors as a comptometer operator and she was a volunteer for the American Red Cross where she earned her Nurse's Aide Cap. Annie also worked as a civilian for the United States Navy when General Motors became Eastern Aircraft; they make the famous Grumman Fighter.

    Boulder Daily Camera Most Viewed

  • I had heard they were going to hire someone over the summer but you had to be able to operate a comptometer.

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Comments

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  • Hideously ugly; I agree. And speaking of ugly--don't you think the earlier versions are much more snazzy than that last metal hulk?

    January 28, 2008

  • Fascinating page, reesetee. Seriously ugly, but fascinating.

    January 27, 2008

  • Invented by Dorr Eugene Felt in 1884. More here.

    January 27, 2008