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Baldwin Calculating Engine
1874

"It does the work of at least three men"
In 1874, Frank Baldwin tried to sell one of his newly invented calculating machines to the Pennsylvania Railroad. He received a reply from the auditor of freight receipts. "You are a year too late," the auditor wrote. "If I could have had a machine like that a year ago, it would have been invaluable." The auditor then went on to explain that he and his clerks had recently completed a series of calculations on freight packages weighing from one to 2,000 pounds, carried over distances of one to 550 miles-more than a million computations in all. "Each sheet," he continued, "has been checked by seven different clerks and I have just had them lithographed for distribution to the agents." Using his calculating machine, Baldwin checked the figures anyway. He found dozens of errors-and made the sale!

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· Railroad Transportation and Record-keeping

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