Monday, 17 October 2016

Curta calculator: The mechanical marvel born in a Nazi death camp


If you've ever spent time thumbing through back issues of magazines like Scientific American or New Scientist, you may have seen adverts for the Curta – a strange little device that resembles a pepper mill. It cost a shocking amount of money and was claimed to perform all sorts of arithmetic functions purely mechanically and with incredible precision. Rather than being a scam in the order of upmarket X-ray specs, the Curta lives up to the claims and the story behind its creation has its roots in a Nazi death camp.