Summit Adding Machine

By the mid-20th century, printing adding machines with a block of ten keys sold much more cheaply than full-keyboard machines. Mindful that it was losing sales, Burroughs Adding Machine Company of Detroit set out to manufacture its own ten-key machine. The Burroughs Patent Division acquired examples and blueprints of a recently introduced British adding machine, the Summit.
This manually operated machine has 11 white plastic keys numbered 1 to 11 (for Sterling currency), as well as a 0 bar. Four black keys are on the right and a correction key is on the left. A place indicator is above the keyboard and a printing mechanism behind it. This includes a paper tape 6 cm. (2 3/8”) wide, a black ribbon, and a serrated edge for tearing the paper tape. The rightmost type bar prints symbols. A metal cover fits over the ribbon and mechanism. Left and right wheels turn the tape and advance the paper. A place for a crank exists, but no crank is present. The machine allows one to enter numbers up to nine digits long and prints nine-digit totals.
The machine is marked on the front: Summit. It is also marked there: MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN. It has serial number: #1895. A red Burroughs Patent Department tag attached to the machine reads: #300. Compare to 1982.0794.76.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 19 cm x 26 cm x 42 cm; 7 15/32 in x 10 1/4 in x 16 17/32 in
place made
United Kingdom: Great Britain
ID Number
maker number
accession 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 Burroughs Corporation
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.