05 December 2018

Review: Produx Original


I haven't said this for a few reviews, so it's time I say it again: thank you so much to everyone following these calculator reviews. I've loved the pictures and comments people have sent me. If you have a calculator you think is interesting, please send me a tweet or something. I'm also interested in any other vintage technology you'd like to share, so send me pictures of that stuff too. In the near future, I'd like to create a second blog specifically for old, forgotten technology, but calculators will remain my priority, of course.

Produx Original Calculator.
The Produx Original comes from West Germany some time between 1940 and 1960. This is just one of many mathematical devices from Produx, and since it doesn't seem like the company is around anymore, finding details is challenging.

Calling this device a machine is a stretch because the only moving parts are controlled entirely by using the stylus. I can't get inside the Produx Original without destroying it, but I can safely assume that there are no gears, levers, or mechanical mechanisms inside other than the sliding numerical parts.

So if everything's done manually, you'd think that means this is no less difficult than doing adding or subtracting by hand. And you'd be very wrong. With only a few minutes of practice, I was able to figure out how to quickly add and subtract large numbers without the aid of a manual or guide.

Green leather case for calculator and stylus.
The video review shows the process to perform operations, but it's little more than a matter of inputting an initial number, then inputting a second number that you want to add or subtract. For addition, you use the lower portion of the device, and for subtraction, use the upper. To clear the numbers back to zero, you simply pull up on the handle at the top of the calculator. There are a few tricks that might take a minute or so to learn, but overall the Produx Original is very intuitive.

Considering this device is over fifty years old, it's in fantastic condition. Even the leather case looks great. This is a calculator that was designed to last as it's made entirely of metal. It's definitely not cheap metal either because it's very difficult to bend (not that I tried that hard).

It's comfortable to hold and looks stunning. Despite it clearly looking like something decades old, there's hardly a scuff on the front of it. The previous owner(s) must have taken good care of this calculator and I hope they can rest easy knowing it's in good hands now.

I purchased this Produx on Ebay for $11.
Back of Produx Original.

Reset handle in use. Sets all values to 0.


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