The Electronic Age elbowed out the Mechanical Age in the 1960s. Calculator manufacturers had to adapt or perish.
Electronics firms not previously in the calculator business saw this transition as a chance to compete on a newly level field. Competition fueled innovation. By the late 1960s, desktop electronic calculators were lighter and quieter than their mechanical ancestors. Not necessarily better for every job…but bursting with potential.
A Leap Forward…Briefly
ANITA was a curiosity: a groundbreaking milestone, but quickly outdated.
Announced in 1961, ANITA (A New Inspiration To Arithmetic/Accounting) was the first commercial, all-electronic desktop calculator. Computer pioneer Norbert Kitz created it for the British firm Bell Punch. Yet, true to his roots in an earlier era, Kitz designed ANITA with vacuum tubes, even though most calculating circuits were already using the more efficient and increasingly inexpensive transistors.
ANITA sold well at first, filling a commercial niche. But from the start, its tube technology was obsolete… and its days numbered.