In photos: The gears and guts of antique calculating machines

See that mass of nuts, bolts, gears and belts above? You could walk into a dollar store today and buy a calculator that does more with the spare change in your pocket. Back in the 1960s, however, machines such as the German-built Hamann 505 were computing powerhouses and commanded a $1,000 price tag in the day's dollars, easy.

The stripped-down 505 pictured is one of some 50 machines in Mark Glusker's amazingly well-kept collection of antique rotary and printing calculators. Photographer Kevin Twomey swung by Glusker's home to take some pictures of the gorgeous machines' guts.

Compare what you see above and below to the gadgety innards of the new iPad, courtesy of iFixit:


It really is a marvel, and that's half a century of progress. Soon, our computers may shed even more bulk by communicating with lasers, and fifty years again from now who knows what it'll all look like.

If you're interested in learning more about these old machines, Mark Glusker's site is a great place to start. Twomey also shot a gorgeous video of these machines in action, as seen here.

Kevin Twomey and Mark Glusker, via Modern Met, via Co.Design

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