Decimo Super Vatman SS II
Decimo Super Vatman SS II.
6V (4x AA batteries).
Display is 8 digits, green fluorescent in single tube.
4 functions, %, square root, memory.
83 mm x 130 mm x 38 mm (3.25" x 5.2" x 1.1").
Made in Japan.
The % key is marked "VAT" for use in calculations of Value Added Tax within the EEC (European Economic Community).
An interesting photograph of a Decimo Super Vatman SS II still mounted in the retail blister pack.
By the mid-1970s pocket electronic calculators had fallen in price so much that they could be sold in blister packs from display stands. It is very unusual to find a calculator from this period still in the blister pack since this was usually destroyed in removing the calculator to use it.
Blister pack detail -
MAINS ADAPTER OPTIONAL EXTRA
Stapled to the rear of the blister pack are the soft carrying pouch and the guarantee.
The significance of the name 'Vatman' -
In April 1973, about the time that pocket calculators were becoming common, Purchase Tax was abolished in Britain, to be replaced by Value Added Tax (VAT). Instead of being applied solely at the point of retail, this tax is applied at all points during the manufacture and distribution of most items when value is added to a product.
As may be imagined, this caused great confusion and difficulties for many companies and stores, and the newspapers carried many stories of raids by tax inspectors on those who had not paid their VAT properly. The name which the popular newspapers have given to these despised inspectors is "vatman", in headlines such as "The vatman demands unpaid tax of £ x0,000 from XYZ company or the owner will go to jail".
So the name VATMAN on a calculator can give you an idea of what it will be useful for, and also makes you smile at its incongruousness.
Vintage British Calculators
© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout 2000-2023 except where noted otherwise.