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.
- This notebook contains examples of eighty-odd mathematical tables on cards, as published and distributed by Marchant Calculating Machine Company and its successor firm, Smith Corona Marchant. Copyright dates on the tables range from 1937 through 1958. Most of the tables are listed at the front of the book in an undated three-page “Index of Current Marchant Tables.”
- This listing divides the tables into nineteen categories. These include interest, reverse interest, decimal equivalents, time, two forms of discount, mark-ups, and payroll. Specialized tables relate to insurance, lumber, petroleum and petroleum oils, and foreign exchange. Also included are tables for such mathematical functions as square roots, cube roots, fifth roots, trigonometric functions, and interpolation. Most of the tables are printed. Two tables of natural trigonometric functions, produced in 1941 from work of R. A. Davis, are reproduced from handwritten entries.
- The last table in the series is entitled “Table of 5-Point Lagrangean [sic] Interpolation Coefficients.” This is an advance copy of a portion of a more extensive set of tables then in preparation by the Mathematical Tables Project of the Works Projects Administration for the City of New York. This table runs for several pages. It is based on a table issued by the War Department in June 1941, but is undated.
- Reference: I. I. Rhodes and H. E. Salzer,”Errata - R. A. Davis, Table of Sines and Radians, Oakland, California, 1941, Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation, 1, 1943, p. 124.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Marchant Calculators
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- nonaccession number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center