National Live-Keyboard Adding Machine

This full-keyboard printing electric adding machine has a steel frame painted brown and green, ten columns of green and white plastic keys, four rubber feet, a green rubber-covered cord, and a paper tape. Keys for odd digits are concave, and those for even digits are flat. On the right side are keys for multiplication, subtraction, addition, clearance, S, and #. Inside these is a lever labeled REPEAT. Numbers appear in ten windows above the keyboard. Three decimal markers slide along the bottom of this register. The paper tape is 2-1/4” wide and on a carriage at the back of the machine. A serrated edge helps cut the paper tape. The spools for the ribbon are under metal covers, which are screwed down. A lever on the top left sets the print spacing at single space, double space or non-print. Of eleven columns of type; ten are for digits and one is for special characters. The on/off switch is near the bottom on the left side front. The machine has a black plastic cover.
A mark on the front reads: National. A tag attached to the base of the front reads: 11KN 379095. The machine was purchased second hand by optometrist Arthur Cowan in the 1950s and used regularly until about 1985.
National Cash Register began selling adding machines in 1944, when it acquired the Allen Wales Corporation. By 1952, when this machine was made, mention of Allen Wales had dropped from NCR adding machines.
Accession File.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
National Cash Register Company
Physical Description
rubber (overall material)
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 20.5 cm x 28 cm x 47.5 cm; 8 1/16 in x 11 1/32 in x 18 11/16 in
place made
United States: Ohio, Dayton
ID 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 Arthur and Shirley B. Cowan

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