New acquisitions for the mNACTEC collection

26 October 2015
The mNACTEC has added to its collection a set of mechanical calculators and a hand loom

The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) has added to its heritage collection a set of mechanical calculation machines and a horizontal hand loom.

The calculation machines include in particular a domestically manufactured and patented group that was never released to market, such as the FALTEX patented by Angel Borrell Ivars in 1946, and the TER invented by Evaristo Fortunato Perez Garcia in 1972. In many cases these mechanical calculators were intended for use by children.The exhibits acquired likewise include such notable examples as some of the oldest commercial models, including the ADAL CALCULATOR from 1910, with an attractive circular design based on an aluminium disc.

All these exhibits will be added to the mNACTEC's collection of calculating machines, one of the most complete in Spain, covering the evolution of calculation devices from the oldest and simplest systems, such as the abacus, to the most sophisticated electronic devices.

Mechanical calculators were used up until the 1970s, when electronic calculators based on microchips (typically manufactured in Japan), ultimately drove them out of the marketplace for good.

The mNACTEC has likewise added to its collection a horizontal hand loom, probably dating from the 18th century or earlier.  The loom has four heddles and two pedals, which could be used in combination to produce simple designs on the fabric.  It still has the yarn loops and the original roller card. The loom is likewise fitted with a wooden shuttle made from silver poplar, a riverside tree providing particularly light timber that made it easier to throw by hand between the sheds.

One curiosity is that the loom also has a cast iron tamplet, used to check that the fabric was of the right width as it was produced, while likewise keeping it in a fixed position, allowing it to be rolled up by the folder at the far end. 

 

26/10/2015