Caroline Saruba

An intelligent woman is a woman with whom one can be as stupid as one wants.
Paul Valéry

The adding device of Saruba/Habereder
The adding device of Saruba/Habereder from 1880 (© Dorotheum auction house)

On 22 October 1880, one Caroline Sarúba from Vienna received an Austrian patent Nr. AT4264 (see the patent drawing below) for Calculateur Kolonnen-Addierstift (adding pencil). The machine was put into production by company F. Habereder & Co. of Ferdinand Habereder in Vienna, Griesgasse 26. The adding device of Saruba/Habereder is similar to the earlier Instrument for adding and registering numbers of Charles Corliss from 1868, Adding Pencils of Marshall Smith (patents US175775 and US180949) and John White (US177775) from 1876, and Addirstift of Oskar Leuner from 1877.

The Calculateur of Saruba/Habereder was a portable spiral adder (length 24 cm) with a capacity of up to 329. The input mechanism is based on a (quite a big) wheel. It seems the device was produced in a small series because only several examples survived to the present time (see the nearby picture of an example, sold by Dorotheum auction house in 2017).

The drawing of Austrian patent Nr. AT4264 of Caroline Sarúba
Austrian patent Nr. AT4264 of Caroline Sarúba

We don’t know anything about the inventor of this calculating device—Caroline Sarúba. She certainly used to work for Ferdinand Habereder because there is another patent granted to Caroline Sarúba in Firma Habereder and Co. in Wien—it is German patent №11427 from 1 Feb 1880 for Kaffeemaschine, which was advertised and put into production in the early 1880s.