James Appleby

In 1850s James R. C. Appleby, a linsey maker and hosier from Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, devised a simple stylus operated calculating device (kind of a simple money abacus), a model of which managed to survive to our time (see the lower images).

Appleby's Accountant Machine (Courtesy of Mr. Walter Szrek)
Appleby’s Accountant Machine (Courtesy of Mr. Walter Szrek)

The device is with dimensions 37 x 10.5 x 4 cm, and is labeled: “Accountant Machine by RC Appleby, Saint James, Shaftsbury, Dorset, 1856”. A stylus is present in a fitted compartment.

Appleby's Accountant Machine, opened box (Courtesy of Mr. Walter Szrek)
Appleby’s Accountant Machine, opened box (Courtesy of Mr. Walter Szrek)

Biography of James Appleby

James Ramsey Cuthbert Appleby was born on 2 January 1807 in Saint James (part of Shaftesbury, or Shaston, a borough, market-town and civil parish in Dorset, England). He was the son of George Appleby (1767-1841), a hosier, and his wife Frances Appleby (1769-1842). James Appleby spent all his life in Shaftesbury, working as a linsey/worsted maker and hosier, and later as a parish clerk at St. James’ Church.

James Appleby never married and died in 1891 in Shaftesbury.