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From the Hangars

Archives Spotlight: Mysteries in the Museum

Feb 11, 2016

The Addiator

Addiator front In addition to the artifacts that are on display in the hangars at the Delta Flight Museum, there are thousands more objects housed in the Archives and we run across interesting and unique objects regularly. 

One object in particular is a small brass tablet labeled, “Addiator/ Add-A-Time.” The Addiator is approximately the size of an iPhone 6 and hails from Germany, circa 1960. Made of brass, the Addiator has eight columns with sliding metal plates on the inside. There is a stylus to manipulate the sliders and keep track of hours and minutes. One side adds, the other subtracts.  There is even a hook at the top of the columns to “carry the 1.” Pilots often used these calculators to track flight hours.

Our Addiator was donated by former Delta flight attendant, Sue Zino, who bought the time keeper from a Delta pilot in the mid-1970s. Before Sue used the Addiator, the flight engineer provided the Flight Attendant In-Charge with a piece of paper with the “block-out to block-in” time to transfer to a paper flight log. Flight attendants are paid from the time the flight leaves the gate to when the plane pulls in to the gate at the destination, not the total amount of time they are on the airplane, so keeping an accurate time log was important. Time is money!

Addiator backSue said many flight attendants had not seen an Addiator prior to flying with her and were fascinated with the gadget, much as we were in the museum. 

Sue stated, “I stopped using the Addiator after Delta went to automatically retrieving the times from the actual aircraft’s system … making paper flight logs obsolete …. YEA!” 

Thank goodness for technology!

Carla Ledgerwood

Assistant - Archives

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  1. roger todd | Feb 19, 2016

    had 1 similar  in the 60s  used it to keep up  with spending at the grocery store it was kind of like an oriental abacus not sure about the spelling



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