Millionaire Calculating Machine

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This key-set electric direct multiplication, non-printing calculating machine has a brass mechanism, a metal case with lid, and color-coded plastic keys. The lid and the flat plates that cover the mechanism are painted black. The carriage is entirely within the case. The ten columns of color-coded black and white plastic keys have nine keys in each column. Painted rods between columns of keys have red, white, and black sides to indicate decimal positions.
A zero (clearance) key is left of the keyboard. Left of it is a crank which may be set between 0 and 9 for direct multiplication and division. Right of the keys is a lever which is set at addition, multiplication, division, or subtraction. Right of it is the operating crank. A row of ten windows in front of the keys shows the number set. These windows are covered with glass and labeled Divisor.
In front of the windows is the carriage, with two other rows of windows. The row closest to the keys (further from the front) indicates the multiplier or quotient, and the other row shows the result or the dividend. The result windows are labeled Dividend and may be set using thumbscrews. Zeroing knobs for both these registers are on the carriage, as well as sliding decimal markers. Between the front two registers, at the left, is a button used to shift the carriage.
Instructions for operating the machine are on a paper sheet inside the lid, along with a cleaning brush, a screw, and a key. The stand carries an electric motor, with wooden shelves on both sides.
A mark in the middle of the front of the machine reads: THE MILLIONAIRE. A metal tag to the right reads: H.W. EGLI S.A. (/) Calculating Machines (/) ZURICH (Switzerland). A metal tag to the left reads: W.A. Morschhauser (/) SOLE AGENT (/) 1 Madison Avenue (/) NEW YORK CITY. Under this tag the serial number mark reads: No 9123. Another mark on the machine reads: BS24326.
For related documentation see MA*319929.03 through MA*319929.07. Compare MA*314579.
The Millionaire with keys for entering numbers was introduced in 1913. According to Ernst Martin, the Millionaire with keys for multiplication was introduced in 1927. This example was used at the U. S. Bureau of Standards and came to be owned by the physicist William F. Meggers.
MADAS 50 Jahre Arbeit.
Ernst Martin, Die Rechenmaschinen und ihre Entwicklungsgeschichte, 2nd edition, 1928, p. 438.
P. A. Kidwell, “American Scientists and Calculating Machines: from Novelty to Commonplace,” Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 12, 1990, pp. 31–40.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1928
Egli, Hans W.
place made
Schweiz: Zürich, Zurich
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 89.4 cm x 90.5 cm x 57 cm; 35 3/16 in x 35 5/8 in x 22 7/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Edith R. Meggers
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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