A Tour of Company Sites

Early ANITA Desktop Calculators


Photograph courtesy of Frank Eggebrecht, via Friedrich Diestelkamp.


The ANITA Mk VII, made by the Bell Punch Co. of Uxbridge, England, was launched in October 1961. It was sold mainly in continental Europe, and was announced in Germany by the distributor Büromaschinen-Vertriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. Together with the concurrently introduced Anita Mk 8, for the British market, it was the world's first electronic desktop calculator.

Development of the ANITA calculators was started in 1956 under Norbert Kitz (a.k.a. Norman Kitz), who had worked on the pilot version of the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) computer project in the mid 1940s.

The name ANITA, stands variously for "A New Inspiration To Arithmetic" and "A New Inspiration To Accounting". This became the family name for all the Bell Punch electronic models, which were distributed by Sumlock Anita Ltd.

The photographs show the machine with model/serial number C/VII/0510/A.

The ANITA is a full-keyboard calculator with a 13-digit "Nixie" type tube display, and makes extensive use of cold-cathode vacuum tubes, and an "integrated circuit" of the vacuum tube era - the Dekatron decimal counter tube (see photographs below).

The Mk VII model was sold mainly in continental Europe, especially Germany, Holland, and Belgium.

The column of keys on the far left are the "tabulator keys". Pressing one of these moves the number being displayed so that its decimal point is in the selected position. For example, assume that as a result of previous calculations the display shows 1.53 on the far right of the display, with the decimal point in position 2 between the 2nd and 3rd number indicator tubes. Now, if the next step in the calculation is to add 0.2368 then we cannot do this since the 6 and the 8 are off the keyboard and display to the right. In this case, with the 1.53 being displayed, the tabulator key marked "4" is pressed and the whole number moves on the display to put the decimal point in position 4 so that the display will show 1.5300. The second number, 0.2368, and now be added with no loss of accuracy.

'Büromaschinen-Mechaniker' announced that the Mk VII would be Anita Mk 8, as sold elsewhere.


With the keyboard hinged up to the right the electronics inside is revealed. This Mk VII has three Dekatrons, two mounted underneath the keyboard and one on the vircuit board at the bottom. The row of small lamps sticking up from the edge of the keyboard are used to provide the decimal point.

Photograph courtesy of Hans Bloemen.

Close-up showing a Dekatron decimal counter tube.

Close-up showing the Dekatron decimal counter tube, used to produce pulses for scanning the number keys, and a vacuum tube to its right.

Photograph courtesy of Frank Eggebrecht, via Friedrich Diestelkamp.

Inside with the keyboard raised

Inside the ANITA Mk VII with the keyboard raised, showing the 13 "Nixie" type number display tubes, each on a separate counter board.

Photograph courtesy of Frank Eggebrecht, via Friedrich Diestelkamp.

Close up with the machine powered up and numbers being displayed.

Photograph courtesy of Hans Bloemen.

The Anita Mk VII is a bit of an enigma. It appears to have been sold only in continental Europe. Elsewhere the ANITA Mk8 appears to have been the model that was marketed.
If you have any informataion about the ANITA Mk VII please get in touch.

This and the ANITA Mk 8 were the world's first desktop electronic calculators, and had a monopoly for 2 1/2 years, until 1964 when the transistorised 1964 when the transistorised Friden 130, IME 84, and Sharp Compet CS10A were introduced. In this time several tens of thousands of Anitas were sold world-wide.

If you have information about the development of Anita calculators, or know of somebody who worked there, please get in touch with us.

Origins of Bell Punch Co.
Mechanical Calculator Days
National Calculating Service
Development of Anita 1
Development of Anita 2
Anita is Launched
At work with Anita
All Change at Bell Punch
Anita Developed Further
Anita at its Zenith
The Rockwell Connection
Demise of Anita & Bell Punch
Mechanical Calculators
Early Anita Desktop Calculators
Transistors & Integrated Circuits
Anita LSI Desk Calculators
Anita Hand-held Calculators
Rockwell-Anita Calculators
Calculators made by others
Advertisements & Brochures
Operating Manuals & Materials
Company Information
A Tour of Company Sites
The Technology Explained
Operating a Comptometer
Old Sterling Currency, £sd
Update Information
Getting in touch

Early Anita Desktop Calculators

Mk 8
Mk 9
Mk 10
Mk 11
Mk 12
Transistorised memory Unit

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Text & photographs copyright © 2002 - 2009 Nigel Tout, except where noted otherwise.