Wizard Calculating Machine

This notched band adder has a metal front and a black plastic back. There are eight bracket-shaped columns, nine display windows, a zeroing bar across the top, and a metal stylus that fits in the side (part of the plastic holder has broken off). Between each of the columns there are two rows of numbers, one for addition and the other for subtraction. The adder comes in a blue plastic case.
According to documentation received with the device, it was distributed by Thoresen, Inc., of New York, N.Y. It is described as “the new 1959 WIZARD with the Magic Reckoner.” The Magic Reckoner was a multiplication table. The machine was made in West Germany.
This example was given to the Museum by Joan Pearson Watkins, the wife of Smithsonian curator C. Malcolm Watkins. She held various honorary curatorial positions at the National Museum of American History from the 1960s through the 1980s. Compare this object to MA*336448 and 2013.0197.01.
References: “Wizard Calculating machine,” 1987.0787.02.
Popular Science, vol. 174, February, 1959, p. 18. Not identical to adder shown in that advertisement.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1960
Thoresen, Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: .5 cm x 10.5 cm x 15.5 cm; 3/16 in x 4 1/8 in x 6 3/32 in
place made
place distributed
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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 Mrs. Joan Pearson Watkins
Additional Media

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