Introduction & Acknowledgments
The Bell Punch Company was one of the few which successfully made the transition from manufacturing mechanical calculators to manufacturing electronic calculators. Indeed it was a leader in the field in the 1960s and produced the world's first electronic desktop calculators in 1961.
However, as with the other companies which manufactured mechanical calculators at the start of the 1960s, it did not survive in producing its own electronic calculators following the switch to LSI (Large-Scale Integration) integrated circuits and the consequent price crash of the mid-1970s. A few names from the mechanical calculator period do survive, but now market re-badged electronic calculators manufactured in low labour cost countries.
The Bell Punch Company and its ANITA calculators make an excellent case for the study of the impact of developments in electronics on the mechanical calculator companies.
I am very grateful to all who have taken the time to and effort to pass on their recollections, and send information, and provide copies of photographs and articles.
Special thanks are due to the Hillingdon and Uxbridge Times newspaper for publishing an appeal for information, and to John Lloyd, John Smith, and John Sparkes who provided considerable details about the development of the Anita and the later development of the company. Also, thanks to Richard Allen, Hans Bloemen, Friedrich Diestelkamp, Frank Eggebrecht, Grant Geen, Timo Leipala, Gary Mann, John Meade, Jim Metcalfe, Ian Partridge, John Rich, John Robinson, Roberto Rodriguez, George Steward, Bob Ward, John Clements, Adrian Wheeler, Mike Denman, and anyone else that I have overlooked who has provided information.
The Bell Punch Company & the Development of the Anita Calculator
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Text & photographs copyright © 2002 - 2017 Nigel Tout, except where noted otherwise.