The Japanese company Casio is one of the two world leaders in calculators. It sells 23 million each year and employs 10,000 people.
The company was created under the impetus of four brothers, in the aftermath of the Second World War. Tadao Kashio first founded in 1946 a subcontracting company near Tokyo. He is going to market a gadget that will be hugely successful. The Yubiwa pipe allows you to smoke a cigarette right up to the filter, while leaving your hands free. This commercial success will especially allow the family to embark on the manufacture of the first prototype calculator.
In June 1957, The family created the company Casio Computer. That same year, the company is proud to present the world’s first compact electric calculator. The object is certainly compact but bulky, it has the size of a desk and weighs 140 kilos. But we must remember that at the time the first computers were the size of a room, recalls Agathe Lucas.
In the 60s and 70s, the race for miniaturization will rage. In 1974, Casio proudly introduced the first credit card size calculator. It is 3.9 millimeters thick.
Casio’s ambition was to democratize calculators so that they could be found in all homes by offering these devices at an affordable price, really well below the prices of the time.
The 80s and 90s were to represent a golden age for Casio, whose calculators set out to conquer the world. The company launches into watchmaking, and electronic musical instruments. But with the Japanese economic crisis, the company suffers. Its price is at its lowest on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the number of its employees is halved.
“The company has rebounded by offering new innovations and by seeking to adapt to different markets … Today, for example, in France you will only find calculators made for France, because it is often believed that mathematics are a universal language, but there is, in fact, a lot of difference in learning and in mathematical notations “, emphasizes Agathe Duca.