Madas Calculating Machine

This manually operated, non-printing stepped drum calculating machine has a brass and steel mechanism painted black with a black steel cover and a black iron stand. Digits are set by pushing down (not pulling up) eight German silver levers. The digit set up appears in a row of windows between the levers. A zeroing knob for the levers is left of them. The operating crank is to the right.
To the left of the levers is a window showing a number that relates to automatic division and two levers, one for automation division and the other for subtraction / addition-multiplication. Behind the levers is a carriage with a row of nine revolution counter register windows and 16 result register windows. The digits on the revolution counter run from 0 up to 8 and then from 9 down to 1. The zeroing knobs for these registers are on the right of the carriage.
Above the entry levers, the revolution counting register, and the result register are metal bars that carry decimal markers. Thumbscrews allow one to set up numbers in the result register. On the left end of the carriage are a bell and a mechanism for shifting the carriage. The bell rings when the result passes through zero (e.g., from positive to negative or negative to positive). The machine has four cork feet. The steel cover has operating instructions on a piece of paper pasted to its inside.
The machine is marked to the left of the levers: MADAS (/) U.S.A. Ptd Dec. 16th 1913 (/) etc. It is marked on the far left: No 4571 (/) MADE IN SWITZERLAND. It is marked on the outside of the cover: MULTIPLICATION AUTOMAT. DIVISION ADDITION SUBTRACTION (/) MADAS. A red tag attached to the machine reads: PATENT DEPT. (/) #347.
This example was #347 in the collection of the Patent Division of Burroughs Corporation.
This model of the MADAS was introduced in 1913 and sold until about 1930. Compare MA*317288, MA*324278, MA*323586 and 1982.0794.88.
H. W. Egli, Ltd., MADAS 50 Jahre Arbeit, Zurich.
Currently not on view
date made
after 1912
Egli, Hans W.
place made
Schweiz: Zürich, Zurich
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
iron (overall material)
steel (overall material)
paper (overall material)
cork (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
average spatial: 17.5 cm x 63 cm x 21.3 cm; 6 7/8 in x 24 13/16 in x 8 3/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Burroughs Corporation
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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