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Goldman's Arithstyle Arith-machine, or in short the Arithstyle, is a very small
chain adder. It has a 9-digit register at the back, with a flat rectangular area
in front called the chain-board. This board has 9 columns, each column formed by
small metal plates connected to each other like a chain. You can use the hooked
stylus to pull any plate downwards until the stylus hits the bottom edge of the
chain-board. The chain causes the corresponding number wheel in the register to
rotate. Note that you have to push down on the chain in order to release a locking
mechanism that blocks the chain from moving. The digit next to each row indicates
how much is added to the register when you select a plate in that row. The
complementary digit is also shown so that it is possible to do subtraction.
The register is cleared by turning the large wheel to the right of the
register. You have to press the button to unlock the wheel, and after a full
turn it clicks and locks into its rest position sutomatically.
The Arithstyle has some notable similarities to the Rapid Computer,
especially the fact that the width of its columns matches that of the columns in a standard
ledger book. There is a small frame that you can extend from the front of the machine
to surround the numbers in the ledger that you are adding. There is a memo-tablet
above the register, which is a white celluloid strip that you can use to write
intermediate results on with pencil. The machine also comes with a stand that
clamps onto the bottom, and which allows you to put it on a desk at an easy-to-use
angle. Mine comes with an original stylus, instruction sheets, and cardboard box.
The box has a reseller's label on it - Madison Mart, Inc., 403 Madison Ave, New York,
which was a shop mainly with photo and film equipment that existed at least until
The instructions provided with my machine consist of 3 pages of type.
D i r e c t i o n s
for the use of
G O L D M A N ' S A R I T H S T Y L E A R I T H - M A C H I N E
The Arithstyle, which carries automatically and resets instantaneously, is durably
and reliably constructed and represents in its operating surface the columnar ruling
of a blank book page, by means of marked partitions and colored chains, indicating
figure and place values, through which the user becomes quickly accustomed to its
manipulation. On both sides of the chain-board appear numeral scales, of which the
large, black figures serve for addition and multiplication, while the small, red
figures are used for subtraction and division.
M a n i p u l a t i o n.
The Arithstyle Arith-Machine is most conveniently held by the left hand, placing
the digit finger and thumb in the curved depressions at the rear and front ends of the
machine, moving the same, when adding columns, from the head to the foot of the page,
and employing the guide-frame on the underside of the Arithstyle to follow the figures
operated upon, fixing the former in position for any desired number of lines or items.
When adding separate items, such as checks, drafts, notes, receipts, ect., or in
performing miscellaneous computations, the folding-stand is employed, which places the
Arithstyle in an inclined position, thereby freeing the left hand for the turning over
of leaves or sheets, or any auxilliary work which may become necessary. The Arithstyle
can also be conveniently held in the hand, fastened to the desk, or carried in the poc-
ket, being easily employed for all classes of calculating work, saving time and labor,
reducing mental strain and avoiding the liability to make mistakes.
R e g i s t r a t i o n.
The placing of numbers or amounts is accomplished with the stylus, which is held by
the thumb, digit and middle fingers in a nearly vertical position, and with the inci-
sion turned toward the operator. The movement of the chain is executed by a downward
pressure of the stylus and the forward movement of the chain-link. The downward pres-
sure opens the chain lock, while the forward movement registers the desired number in
the register opening, and insures the perfect alignment of the chain links. It is im-
portant that the downward push precedes the forward pull to insure smooth chain action,
though both operations follow each other in such close succession that it is practi-
cally impossible to separate them. The locked condition of the chains offers a three-
fold advantage. It prevents the accidental derangement of the register, the slipping
of the stylus, as well as the undetected placing of a wrong figure.
R e s e t t i n g.
The resetting or clearing of the registers is accomplished by pressing the degit
finger of the right hand against the release button of the clearing wheel, and giving
it one complete turn to the right, until the lock-pin engages the lock-piece on the
underside of the clearing wheel. The release button need not be pressed after the
clearing wheel has been turned from its engaged position. While operating the Arith-
style, the clearing wheel must alwyas be in its normal position, to insure accurate
working of the Arith-Machine. The resetting can be accomplished without special at-
tention, as the re-engagement of the clearing wheel by the lock-pin is accompanied by
a clicking sound.
S h o r t R u l e s.
1. Grasp the stylus near the lower end, to hold it securely.
2. Hold the stylus vertically, to move the link into the chain-lock.
3. Depress the stylus fully, to insure smooth chain action.
4. Bring the stylus in vertical position to the chain-lock.
5. Place the stylus in the line and column of the desired figure.
6. Observe that the incision is turned toward the operator.
7. Press the release button on the clearing wheel, to disengage the latter.
8. Turn the clearing wheel one revolution to the right, to clear the register
9. See to it that the clearing wheel is in its normal position.
10. Follow directions and the Arithstyle will please you.
I n s t r u c t i o n s
A R I T H S T Y L E A R I T H - M A C H I N E.
14.63 The amounts to be added are 314.63 The columns can be added ment-
126.34 placed separately, in the same 126.38 ally in groups of three or more
85.90 order in which they are read 256.78 figures, by utilizing the guide-
2000.64 or written. Ciphers are not 596.40 frame and registering the
600.00 registered and simple items 874.26 partial sums in the correspond-
800.34 can be mentally combined. 534.68 ing places of the chainboard.
1834.94 The minuend is placed ac- 4263.45 In case the subtrahend con-
1426.38 cording to the large (black) 0026.84 tains less figures than the
1)0437.56 numeral scales, and the sub- 1)4236.61 minuend, complemental ciphers,
trahend according to the small vis. nines, must be registered
(red) numeral scales, with this distinc- in the vacant places preceding the amount
tion that all figures are registered in order to arrive at the correct dif-
according to the left-hand small (red) ference. The one (1) appearing to the
numeral scale, excepting the last right- left of the result in the register is
hand figures, which is registered accord- ignored or covered by the shutter slide.
ing to the right-hand small, (red) numeral Ciphers in the subtrahend are registered
scale. Ciphers are registered according to according to the left-hand, small (red)
the left-hand small (red) numeral scale. numeral scale.
527 The operation is commenced with 5864 To easily find the proper
463 the units figure of the multi- 625 column in which the partial
21 plier and the partial products 29320 products must be placed, it is
6 with the figures of the multi- 11728 best to observe that the units
15 plicand: 21, 6, 15, are placed 35184 of each following partial prod-
42 successively from right to left 3665000 uct are registered in the same
12 in the corresponding columns of column with the tens of the
30 the Arithstyle. This process is preceding partial product, keeping the
28 then repeated with the second stylus in position to hold the place.
8 figure of the multiplier, Whenever a partial product contains no
20 beginning in the second column tens, the stylus is moved to the cipher
244001 of the Arithstyle, and continued place of the next column, to mark the
until every figure of the multi- proper position. In case a partial prod-
plier has been taken into consideration. uct contains a cipher in the units place,
The Arithstyle performs the carrying of the corresponding column is simple passed
all partial products as well as their over, and the tens registered in the next
addition automatically, thereby saving column to the left. A little practive
time and labor and avoiding the mistakes in Arithstyle Multiplication will result
incidental and characteristic of mental in a saving of 40% in time and labor and
multiplication. 99% in mistakes.
9) 46978 The dividend is placed 83) 86483 The complement of the
Compl. 1 5 in the register accord- Compl. 17 17 divisor is easily found
5)19 ing to the large (black) 1)0)348 by referring to the
2 numeral scales, while 68 left-hand and right-
2)17 the divisor and its 4)163 hand small numeral
1 complement are noted 17 scales or by comple-
1)88 ion the memo-tablet. It 1)80 menting the figures of
9 is then determined how the divisor to 9, ex-
9)7 often the divisor is Ans. 1041 80/83. cepting the right hand
contained in the first figure, which must be
Ans. 5219 7/9. partial dividend, and complemented to 10. When uncertain how
the complement multi- often the divisor is contained in the
plied by the first quotient figure, partial dividend, it is advisable to
placing the partial products in the accept the lower quotient figure, and
corresponding columns, according to the in case the remainder is larger than the
rule given for multiplication. The re- divisor, its complement is again regis-
gister then exhibits in place of the tered to correct the quotient figure.
first partial dividend the quotient fig- Should additional quotient figures be
ure to the left and the remainder to the desired, the result may be noted on the
right. The adjoining dividend figure is memo-tablet, the register cleared, and
then annexed, and the operation repeated the remainder again placed in the left
until all dividend figures have been hand columns of the register, thereby
considered. The shutter-slide and leaving toom for annexing additional
decimal pointer may be utilized to mark ciphers. In this instance, one place
the progress of the work. It is advis- to the left should remain vacant in the
able to execute a few examples on paper, register, as the first quotient figure
before using the Arithstyle, to famil- often appears one place to the left of the
iarize one's seld with the method. remainder, placed anew in the Arithstyle.
To increase an incorrectly placed figure, simply register the difference in the
corresponding column. To decrease a figure, apply the principle of subtraction,
registering the difference according to the small (red) right-hand numeral scale,
and placing conplemental (red) ciphers (black nines) in the remaining left hand
columns. If it is desired to reduce for instance 4263.54 to 4253.54, place the
right-hand (red) one (1) in the fourth column from the right, and place left-hand
(red) ciphers (full strokes) in the columns to the left, whereby the mistake is
removed from the register.
The depression of the chain link preceding the stroke makes the Arithstyle
practically self-checking, as it gives the eye an opportunity to notice every mis-
take at the time it is made, which is a much better preventive of error than the
mental and visual comparison of amounts afterwards, advocated by the manufacturers
of the cumbersome and expensive listing machines.
The fact that the eyes need not be removed from the work, while operating the
Arithstyle, which can be conveniently placed over or close to the figures operated
upon, actually saves less mistakes than checking by comparison or duplication of
terms can possibly detect or prevent. Checking by comparison is one of the most
fruitful causes of undetected errors, and as a proof of arithmetical accuracy
The Arithstyle was designed by Henry Goldman. He was a German who emigrated to
the USA. Here is his timeline:
|1859 ||Born as Heinrich Goldmann in Vienna, Austria.|
|1881 ||Emigrated to the USA, New York, and changed his name to Henry Goldmann.|
|1883 ||Published 20 page booklet "The Electric Detector: A Complete System for Testing Arithmetical Results without Refiguring", about the method of casting out nines.|
|1884 ||Moved to Chicago, changed name to Henry Goldman.|
|1884-1889||Published various other booklets about accounting and bookkeeping methods.|
|1889-1896||Published monthly magazine "The Office Men's Record", a quarterly magazine for office workers.|
|1893 ||Exhibited at Chicago World's Fair, and wrote booklet about the exhibitors of office equipment there.|
|1898 ||Published book "The Arithmachinist", 158 pages, introducing Goldman's Arithmachine, the first version of this adder.
Exhibited the machine at the TransMississippi International Exposition, Omaha, Nebraska
|1899 ||International Arithmachine Company founded to make the Arithmachine. Previously he was using the Office Men's Record Company to produce them.|
|1900 ||Exhibited at International Universal Exposition in Paris.|
|1901 ||Exhibited at the Pan-American Exposition in New York.|
|1905 ||Moved to Berlin, Germany. Had Gesellschaft für Maschinenbau und elektrische Neuheiten GmbH produce Contostyle.|
|1907 ||Founds Arithstyle Kommanditgesellschaft for producing the machine. It was apparently renamed Arithstyle at some point.|
|1908-1909||Published magazine "Modern Office: The Illustrated International Magazine of Progressive Office Management", in German and English.|
|1911 ||Moves back to New York and starts the Arithstyle Company to produce the Arithstyle there. In Berlin they were now produced by the Gesellschaft für Präcisions-Technik.|
|1914 ||Died February 28th in New York.|
So there are the following variants of Goldman's machine. I have listed the
serial numbers of machines I could find online.
|1898-1905:||Goldman's Arithmachine, Chicago
Known Serial numbers:
Known Serial numbers:
|1911-192?:||Arithstyle, New York
Known Serial numbers:
Newspaper and Magazine Advertisements
Here are some of the advertisements I found in online archives.
1911-1920 New York
Articles and Documents
Apart from the ads, I have found several reviews, articles and other mentions relating to
Henry Goldman's writings and the Arithmachine.
1911-1920 New York
|Patent||Filing date||Publish date||Name||Description|
|US 507,899||22-01-1891||31-10-1893||Henry Goldman||File-fastening|
|US 617,094||25-01-1897||03-01-1899||Henry Goldman||Arithmachine|
|US 624,788||09-09-1897||09-05-1899||Henry Goldman||Arithmachine|
|US 669,969||08-08-1898||12-03-1901||Henry Goldman||Register and clearing mechanism|
|US 669,970||08-08-1898||12-03-1901||Henry Goldman||Chain locking mechanism
DK 3,251 C.
|US 677,777||06-12-1897||02-07-1901||Henry Goldman||Parallel ruler|
|US 681,781||07-01-1901||03-09-1901||Henry Goldman||Clearing wheel|
|US 786,282||01-08-1900||04-04-1905||Henry Goldman||Contostyle/Arithstyle|
|GB 1908/17969||26-08-1908||21-01-1909||Henry Goldman||Register wheels|
|US 956,846||23-04-1908||03-05-1910||Henry Goldman||Chain locking mechanism
AT 40,945 B,
DK 11,716 C,
|US 1,068,051||04-11-1911||22-07-1913||Henry Goldman||Chain locking mechanism
Rechnerlexikon has a page with some
The American History Museum has
Rechenmaschinen Illustrated has
a little info and an
Arithmachine, Contostyle, and Arithstyle
The Office Museum has a
page with adders including an Arithstyle.
The history of Computers has a page about
Goldman and the Arithmachine.
Daytonian in Manhattan has a page about
the 1897 Rawitser building, which is where a branch of the International Arithmachine Co. was based.
David Moews's home page has scan of Henry Goldman's
The Arithmachinist (PDF, 19.2M).
© Copyright 2020 Jaap Scherphuis, mechcalc a t jaapsch d o t net.