Ve-Po-Ad Adder

This black and gold notched band adder comes in a maroon cloth-covered cardboard notebook with a rusting stylus. It has eight columns of digits, and nine windows for displaying results. The narrow zeroing rod is at the top. With the object is a piece of the wrapping in which the adder was sent, showing the postage and date mailed.
With MA*323626, this object is F&T 43 (1&2) from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company.
The VE-PO-AD (Vest Pocket Adder) was sold by Reliable Typewriter and Adding Machine Corporation of Chicago from at least 1924 through at least 1940.
References: Typewriter Topics, 57 (July 1924) p. 80.
Popular Science Monthly, 126 (January 1933) p. 107.
Popular Mechanics, 73 (January 1940) p. 127A, (February 1940) p. 151A, (March, 1940) p. 123A.
P. Kidwell, "Adders Made and Used in the United States," Rittenhouse, 1994, 8:78-96.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Reliable Typewriter & Adding Machine Corporation
Reliable Typewriter & Adding Machine Corporation
Physical Description
cloth (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: .8 cm x 8.3 cm x 12.6 cm; 5/16 in x 3 9/32 in x 4 31/32 in
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
place distributed
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Victor Comptometer Corporation

Visitor Comments

10/18/2015 2:04:10 PM
louise Maringer
found my "adding machine" in the drawer brought back many memories One such was standing in the corner of the classroom because I had brought it to school That was a no no surprised to find it mentioned on the computer thanks for the memories
1/8/2016 2:21:50 PM
Kenneth Haines
I have one of those in my possession.It was my grandfather's that he used when he was a house painter to figure how much to charge.
3/2/2016 12:09:12 PM
Joe Presho
I found a VE-PO-AD in our closet. How do you work it?
3/3/2016 10:01:32 AM
Peggy Kidwell
The VE-PO-AD, like other adders, requires work from the user. To enter a number, slide down one rod for each digit – the number shows up in the holes. Entering a second number causes the sum to appear. When the total in any column exceeds 9, carry by using the stylus to enter digits one column to the left.
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