Baldwin Adding Machine

In the late 19th century, Wiliam Seward Burroughs of St. Louis pioneered in the introduction of key-set printing adding machines, designed especially to assist banks in keeping track of accounts. The Burroughs Registering Accountant found a considerable market. In August of 1902, calculating machine inventor Frank S. Baldwin proposed this form of a key-set, printing adding machine. It has only one set of keys (the 3 key cover is missing), arranged in the order of a modern telephone touch pad.
A small, unmarked key is to the left of, and above, the “1” key. To the right of the "3" key stem is a threaded metal protrusion. Above the keys is a semicylindrical carriage with a row of nine numeral wheels that indicate the total. At the base of the carriage is a saw toothed bar. A metal arrow points up from the bar as a place marker. A triangular protrusion from the machine surface holds the bar. At the end of the carriage is a screw, perhaps for zeroing. A small lever attached to the bottom left of the carriage may release it to move left or right.
Behind the carriage is a printing mechanism that prints up to nine digits. It is driven by a crank on the right. Reels for the paper tape are behind the mechanism. The wooden knob on the crank folds inward so that the lid of the mahogany box closes. A loose metal handle fits into a hole in the right side of the machine.
A mark on the case of the machine reads: 27-86. No serial number found.
This machine is from the collection of L. Leland Locke, and was once at the Museums of the Peaceful Arts in New York City.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
Baldwin, Frank S.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 20.2 cm x 25.5 cm x 27 cm; 7 15/16 in x 10 1/32 in x 10 5/8 in
place made
United States: New Jersey, Newark
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Adding Machines
Science & Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


Add a comment about this object