Jaap's Mechanical Calculators Page

Goldman's Arithmachine / Contostyle / Arithstyle


Goldman's Arithstyle
Newspaper and Magazine Advertisements
Articles and Documents

Goldman's Arithstyle

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 1950s.


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. -1-

I n s t r u c t i o n s for the A R I T H S T Y L E A R I T H - M A C H I N E. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ADDITION. --------- 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. 3627.85 2703.13 SUBTRACTION. ------------ 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. MULTIPLICATION. --------------- 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. -2-

-3- DIVISION. --------- 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. CORRECTIONS. ------------ 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 practically valueless.



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.
1884-1889Published various other booklets about accounting and bookkeeping methods.
1889-1896Published 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.
1908-1909Published 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: 1760
1905-1911:Contostyle/Arithstyle, Berlin
Known Serial numbers: 9189 9928
1911-192?:Arithstyle, New York
Known Serial numbers: 11136 11254, 11292, 11578, 11604, 11698, 11727, 11751, 11790, 11798, 11859, 11989, 12064 12104.

Newspaper and Magazine Advertisements

Here are some of the advertisements I found in online archives.

1895-1905 Chicago

1895-03 The Penman's Art Journal
1895-08 The Penman's Art Journal
1898-10-31 Omaha daily bee
1898-12-04 The times
1898-12-18 The Salt Lake herald
1900-02 Scientific American
1900-02-24 The Wichita Beacon (Kansas)
1900-02-25 The Saint Paul globe
1900-05-17 Bridgeton pioneer
1901 Official catalogue and guide book to the Pan-American Exposition

1905-1912 Berlin

1906-08-12 Berliner Tageblatt
1907-08-11 Berliner Tageblatt
1907-08-21 Berliner Tageblatt
1908-03-29 Berliner Tageblatt
1908-04-29 Berliner Tageblatt
1908-05-30 Die Woche
1908-10-24 Berliner Tageblatt
1909-07-04 Berliner Tageblatt
1909-08-08 Berliner Tageblatt
1909-09-19 Berliner Tageblatt
1911-05-14 Berliner Tageblatt
1911-07-16 Berliner Tageblatt
1911-10-15 Berliner Tageblatt
1911-12-10 Berliner Tageblatt
1912-02-18 Berliner Tageblatt
1912-05-26 Berliner Tageblatt

1911-1920 New York

1911-12-09 The Indianapolis New (Indiana)s
1911-12-10 The Des Moines Register (Iowa)
1912-12-29 The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania)
1912-03 Business Journal
1912-09 Popular Electricity
1912-10 Business
1912-11 Business
1912-12 Business
1913 The World almanac and encyclopedia
1913-01 Business
1913-01 Popular Mechanics
1913-03 Business
1913-05-24 Colliers
1913-09 Business
1915-06 The Chinese Students' Monthly
1919-10-27 NYTimes

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.

1888-1905 Chicago

1888-09-23 St. Paul daily globe
1893-08-12 The Phonetic Journal
1895-03-10 Omaha daily bee
1895-10 The Penman's Art Journal
1895-11 The Stenographer
1897-08-29 The Chicago Chronicle
1898-02-06 Kansas City journal
1898-02-10 The Union signal
1898-04-17 The Indianapolis journal
1898-09-04 The Saint Paul globe
1898-09-28 The Jewelers Circular
1898-10 Gunton's Magazine
1898-10 The Writer
1898-10-01 The Boston Globe (Massachusetts)
1898-10-22 Electrical World
1898-10-29 Engineering and Mining Journal
1898-11 Bankers Magazine
1898-11 Popular Science Monthly
1899-01-16 The morning news
1899-01-26 Journal of Education
1899-02-26 The Saint Paul Globe (Minnesota)
1899-02-27 The Kansas City Star (Missouri)
1899-03-09 Phillipsburg herald
1899-03-17 Chicago Tribune (Illinois)
1900 Wonders of the Nineteenth Century
1900-01-21 St Louis Post Dispatch (Missouri)
1900-03-26 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (New York)
1900-08 Accountics
1900-08 Meyer Brothers Druggist
1900-11 Journal of the Franklin Institute
1901-07 The Open Court
1901-09-04 The Buffalo Enquirer (New York)
1902-09-18 Kenosha Evening News (Wisconsin)
1903-10-01 The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania)
1904 Pitman's Twentieth Century Business Dictation
1905 Tools of Business - Arithmachine
1910 The Century dictionary and cyclopedia

1905-1911 Berlin

1906-03-20 Das Vaterland
1906-04-29 Grazer Tagblatt
1906-05-03 Grazer Volksblatt
1907-05-24 Berliner Tageblatt
1908-02 US Monthly consular and trade reports
1908-02-21 Die Zeit
1908-03-02 Wiener Montags-Post
1910-01-25 Berliner B”rsenzeitung

1911-1920 New York

1912-12 Business Journal
1925 Ernst Martin


PatentFiling datePublish dateNameDescription
US 507,89922-01-189131-10-1893Henry GoldmanFile-fastening
US 617,09425-01-189703-01-1899Henry GoldmanArithmachine
US 624,78809-09-189709-05-1899Henry GoldmanArithmachine
GB 1899/1023715-05-189914-04-1900Henry GoldmanArithmachine
US 669,96908-08-189812-03-1901Henry GoldmanRegister and clearing mechanism
US 669,97008-08-189812-03-1901Henry GoldmanChain locking mechanism
See also: CA 68,344, CH 19,471, DK 3,251 C.
US 677,77706-12-189702-07-1901Henry GoldmanParallel ruler
US 681,78107-01-190103-09-1901Henry GoldmanClearing wheel
US 786,28201-08-190004-04-1905Henry GoldmanContostyle/Arithstyle
GB 1908/1796926-08-190821-01-1909Henry GoldmanRegister wheels
US 956,84623-04-190803-05-1910Henry GoldmanChain locking mechanism
See also: AT 40,945 B, CH 43,939, DE 217,425, DK 11,716 C, FR 387,379, GB 1908/04382.
US 1,068,05104-11-191122-07-1913Henry GoldmanChain locking mechanism
See also: CA 146,538, CH 62,898.


© Copyright 2020 Jaap Scherphuis, .