Azevedo Coutinho

Azevedo Coutinho (1860-1918)
Azevedo Coutinho (1860-1918)

In the early 1880s, the young Portugal journalist António Júlio Rodrigues de Azevedo Coutinho (1860-1918) devised an interesting keyboard adding device, which he patented in Brazil in 1882, and later in Great Britain (patent Nr. 188410781, 30 July 1884), and Germany (patent №30421, 19 August 1884).

The adding machine of d’Azevedo has a simple and reliable construction, but never went into production and remained only on paper.

Let’s examine the mechanism of the device, using the patent drawing.

By depressing a key (marked with a in the lower drawings) the underlying wheel b is rotated. The wheels b have a different number of teeth, according to the key (e.g. the wheel for 1 key has 1 tooth, that for 2 key has 2 teeth, etc.) The keys are returned in the initial position by means of springs.

The adding machine of Azevedo Coutinho (patent drawing)
The adding machine of Azevedo Coutinho (patent drawing from German patent)

The movement from wheels b will be transmitted to the 10-teeth wheels d, mounted on the tetragonal axis g. Then, by means of the permanently engaged ratchet wheels f1 and f2, the movement will be transferred to the result mechanism (axis g (which is held in the proper position by a spring), and the result wheels i).

The tens carry mechanism is implemented by means of the wheels j, mounted on the axis k. Fixing the wheels in the position is done by means of springs.

The zeroing of the mechanism is done by turning the knob l (on the left side of the box).

Biography of Azevedo Coutinho

António Júlio Rodrigues de Azevedo Coutinho was born on 11 July 1860, in Quinta de Bouçó, parish of Fontarcada (Póvoa de Lanhoso), northern Portugal. His father João Antonio Rodrigues de Azevedo Coutinho was a local farmer and vine producer, but he was an educated man and even had a religious book published in 1889. Concerning his education, Coutinho must have followed the path of many wealthy young people of the same age, completing basic education in his home, then going to Braga, and attending the Lyceum.

Until the end of the 1880s, António de Azevedo Coutinho lived in Póvoa de Lanhoso, where he worked as a journalist, writer, and founder, actor, and script-writer of a dramatic group. In 1890 he relocated to the nearby Braga, where he was the editor of several newspapers, writer, and editor of books. Several years later he relocated to Porto, where he worked for insurance companies.

António de Azevedo Coutinho died in Porto on 7 September 1918.