“The Millionaire” – Calculating machine for direct multiplication by Otto Steiger
“The Millionaire” is a four-species calculating machine for direct multiplication using a multiplier body, patented by Otto Steiger from Switzerland in 1893 and manufactured as “The Millionaire” by the Egli company in Zurich for about 40 years. “The Millionaire” uses only a single multiplier body. This multiplier body represents the multiplication tables up to 9 x 9 in the form of metal pins of different heights. The first series of “The Millionaire” was built in Munich, starting in 1896; mass production began in Zurich in 1898. From 1911 on, the machines had the option of a motor; in 1913, they had an additional input keyboard for the first time; 1914 saw the machine hit the market with a second main counting mechanism.
The basic principle of the direct multiplication machine “The Millionaire” has been portrayed by Mr Kim in a very detailed and comprehensible 3D animation as his bachelor’s thesis for Professor Prinz’ lecture on the history of mechanical calculation. Otto Steiger’s outstanding ideas behind this fascinating machine become visible here. Enjoy the video!