Mathematical Charts and TablesTables for Monetary Transactions
Tables for Monetary Transactions
American merchants, bankers, and employers have used a wide range of tables to ensure the accuracy of monetary transactions. Some of these tables were produced for stand–alone use, while others were designed to aid those calculating with machines.
As early as 1812, Joseph Jelleff of New York State patented a disc with printed scales used for interest calculations. Versions of this instrument sold at least into the 1830s. William B. Leavitt of New Hampshire copyrighted a similar wooden instrument in 1845. A few years later, Samuel S. Young of Ohio patented a linear instrument for interest calculations. In 1867, Albert Pierson of New Jersey patented a rather different device, in which the tables were mounted on rotating prisms, for the same purpose. Manufacturers of computing machines, such as Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company of Chicago and the Marchant Calculating Machine Company of California distributed interest tables to assist those using their products.
Those assessing and paying taxes also used tables. In 1879, Robert Levin Mudd, a county clerk in Illinois, patented a device to ease the work of correctly accessing taxes. In the 1930s, New York entrepreneurs introduced the Costometer, which was designed in part to assist in calculating newly introduced Social Security taxes. Tables also were used for computing both markups and discounts on goods sold, and for finding the total cost of sales, as when multiplying the rate of shipping freight per pound by the number of pounds shipped. Sometimes it is unclear precisely why units used were chosen, as in a handwritten multiplication table collected from a Massachusetts manufacturer of shuttles for looms.
"Mathematical Charts and Tables - Tables for Monetary Transactions" showing 1 items.
- Manufacturers of adding and calculating machines distributed a variety of printed mathematical tables for users of their products. This example, printed in black on white cardboard, was prepared by Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company of Chicago, makers of the Comptometer adding machine. It was their Form No. 4 and lists the net result as a decimal of taking off two discounts in percent on an item sold. For example, the table indicates that if an item was selling at a 40% discount and then had an additional 10% discount on the price, the net price would be .54 times the original price. It was for use with a Comptometer. The form shows a Model J Comptometer, a machine produced in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Hence the date assigned.
- A mark at the top of the table reads: Discount Table (/) showing net of $1.00 after discounts, shown (/) at top and side, are taken off (/) to be used in connection with the (/) COMPTOMETER (/) (TRADE MARK).
- According to the donor, the table belonged to her aunt, the late Bessie Gold, who used it with a Burroughs calculator. Born in Russia about 1912, Gold came to the United States as a child. As an adult, she did office work in Richmond, Va.
- For other tables distributed by Felt & Tarrant, see 1979.3074.09.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1930
- Felt & Tarrant Mfg. Co.
- ID Number
- nonaccession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center