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Decimo Vatman

The Decimo Vatman is found in two or three varieties:

Decimo Vatman type 1

Decimo Vatman type 1

Decimo Vatman type 1.

6V (4 x AA batteries).

Display is 8 digits, green fluorescent in single tube.

4 functions, %.

83mm x 130mm x 28mm (3.25" x 5" x 1.1").

Made in Japan.

Decimo Vatman type 2

Decimo Vatman

Decimo Vatman type 2.

Has square root key, and VAT % key.

6V (4 x AA batteries).

Display is 8 digits, green fluorescent in single tube.

4 functions, VAT %, square root.

83mm x 130mm x 28mm (3.25" x 5" 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).

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 Calculators

© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2017  except where noted otherwise.