Comptometer Model J

In 1927 officials at Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company of Chicago learned that rival Burroughs Adding Machine Company of Detroit had one of its recent machines on exhibit at the U.S. National Museum (as the Smithsonian’s museum was then called). They offered to supply the museum with an example of their latest adding machine, the Model J Comptometer, and to construct a section of the device for display. The museum accepted the offer, and received both this Comptometer and a related model.
This machine has a brown metal case and eight columns of green and off-white color-coded plastic-covered keys. Odd numbered keys are concave, even numbered keys flat. Complementary digits are indicated on the keys. The first key pressed after the machine has been zeroed rings a bell. There are numbered decimal markers, subtraction levers, and a row of nine windows at the front to indicate the result shown on number wheels below. A zeroing crank is on the right. There is a red key at the back of the keyboard on the right.
The machine is marked on the front and back of the case: Comptometer. It his serial number marked to the left of the keyboard near the front: J264527. A metal tag behind the keyboard reads in part: TRADE COMPTOMETER MARK. It also is marked with several patent dates. The last is: Nov.2.20.
For a related object, see MA*309394.
Accession file.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 14.2 cm x 23.5 cm x 37.5 cm; 5 19/32 in x 9 1/4 in x 14 3/4 in
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
accession number
maker 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 Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company

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