Adding Machine Model

This model of a ten-key non-printing manually operated adding machine is an open wooden box that contains a metal mechanism driven by nine keys along the front. When a key is pushed down, it pushes a lever and ultimately turns gears. The object is a rough model, not a production machine. A loose piece may be part of the machine.
This may be an incomplete model of the adding machine patented by David Marion Rush of Louisburg, Missouri. Rush applied for a patent July 25, 1883 and was granted it January 22, 1884. This model corresponds to the patent description of Rush’s machine as it was used to enter numbers. The mechanism for recording totals, as well as the upper cover of the instrument, is lacking.
David Marion Rush was born in 1849 in Barren County, Kentucky, and moved with his family to Polk County, Missouri, in 1852. He studied in the public schools and then, for three years beginning in 1871, at a private school in Urbana, Missouri. After teaching from 1874 to 1884, he entered the patent rights business. He received two patents of his own, one for a washing machine and the other for an adding machine. From 1886 until at least 1889, he was county collector in Wright County, Missouri.
David Rush. “Adding Machine,” U.S. Patent 292256, January 22, 1884.
History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps & Dent Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889. p. 965.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine model
date made
ca 1880
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 16.5 cm x 27 cm x 20 cm; 6 1/2 in x 10 5/8 in x 7 7/8 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of L. Leland Locke
Additional Media

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