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Old Calculator Museum Advertising & Documentation Archive
Advertisement for the Friden 130 Electronic Calculator

Friden 130 Advertisement - Russian Envy
Friden News Magazine, April, 1967

This (clearly staged) advertisement speaks to the fascination of a visiting Russian technical delegation in a Friden 130 calculator that they happened to stumble across while visiting an architectural firm in the US.

The Felix CE-30 version of the Friden 130.

One wonders if this visit (which actually did take place) could have led to a virtually identical version of the Friden 130, the Felix CE-30 (pictured above) ending up actually being sold in Russia in the 1970's. The Felix CE-30 is extremely rare today, and at this point, only two examples of which are positively known to be in existence, although it's likely that other examples of the machine are hidden away across Eastern Europe.

ICE Felix (Felix Electronics Factory), an electronics manufacturing firm established in 1970 in Bucharest, Romania, acquired license from Friden's European engineering and manufacturing branch, Friden Holland N.V., located in Nijmegen, Netherlands, to manufactur, sell, and support these copies of the Friden 130.

Given Romania's Socialist government, membership in the Warsaw Pact, and ties with the Soviet Union, the ICE Felix-made CE-30 calculator ended up being sold in Soviet Bloc countries through the latter part of the 1970's. This occurred even though the United States had strict policies against the export of advanced technology into Soviet-Bloc countries. Of course, by 1970, the Friden 130 was hardly considered advanced technology in the Western world. The loophole that led to this being allowed was that Romania was not technically part of the Soviet Union, and thus, did not have the same technology restrictions as Soviet republics. The Felix CE-30 calculator was, for all intents and purposes, identical to the Friden 130. Some of the components (such as raw circuit boards, the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), cabinetry components, and keyboard assemblies were imported into Romania through Friden Holland N.V., while other mechanical and electronic components were more practical to be sourced within Eastern Europe.