Educated Monkey


It makes no difference to the monkey whether children are bright or silly. He never loses patience at having to answer their questions. 

This clever monkey who came out of the movie 100 years ago turned math into a game, whether it is a child who is good or not good in math, never loose patience. 

In 1915, William Henry Robertson, a draftsman at NCR, applied for two patents. The first, for "a calculating device," was for "a quick and simple method of finding results" on a chart. The second was for a toy using the same mechanism "to stimulate the interest of children in the study of numbers." In this second patent, the linkage took the form of a monkey. Robertson assigned both of his patents to the Educational Novelty Company of Dayton, which soon was selling Consul.


‘“Consul”, the Educated Monkey’ is a 14 cm × 15 cm metal backplate printed with a number chart, to which is attached a moveable monkey figure, wearing a suit and bow tie and made of thin enamelled steel (Figure 11.1).2 If you position the monkey’s feet to point at two numbers in a row of 1–12, let’s say 4 and 8, then the monkey’s metal-pin joints force its arms and torso to change position until its hands cradle the two numbers’ product printed on the backplate: 32. The device groans as you gently coax its resistant feet into position, but the rest of Consul’s body moves with the precise coordination of a dancer. Its gritted-teeth smile doesn’t move. The monkey’s pose can be rather gymnastically grotesque for certain calculations. As a fun surprise, as Consul’s head approaches its ankles to multiply far-flung numbers such as 1 and 12, the metal bar connecting its hands and torso sticks up over the monkey’s head, transforming into a strikingly realistic tail painted with brown and black furry stripes. As an additional touch of charm, next to the number 12 is a small empty square, signifying the ‘square’ of the number chosen for the other foot. It include a bonus addition table. 

  • Size

    15cm x 14cm 

  • Weight



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