Addiator Universal, Standard Model

This metal notched band adder has a metal stylus. The front of the instrument is painted green, the back, black. One can enter numbers up to six digits long. The clearing bar is at the top. The case is clear plastic. For instructions, see 1988.0807.07.
The firm of Carl Keubler produced adders under the name Addiator in Berlin (later West Berlin) from 1920 until the 1980s. This is one of three versions of the Addiator in the Smithsonian collections. It was given to the Museum by the machinist and museum specialist George A. Norton, Jr. Norton used the device to do routine addition, subtraction, and multiplication until he acquired an electronic calculator.
Reference: Martin Reese, Historische Buerowelt, 43 (September 1995).
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1955
Harrison Home Products Corporation
Addiator G.m.b.H.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: .6 cm x 5.5 cm x 17 cm; 1/4 in x 2 5/32 in x 6 11/16 in
place made
Deutschland: Berlin, Berlin
place distributed
United States: New Jersey, Harrison
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of George A. Norton, Jr.

Visitor Comments

9/16/2015 6:37:37 PM
In what industries were the Addiators generally used the most? Where can I purchase a stylus for my Addiator?
9/23/2015 8:33:08 AM
Peggy Kidwell, NMAH
Addiators were commonly owned and used by individuals. Businesses tended to prefer sturdier machines that had mechanisms to carry out arithmetic and sometimes printed receipts. The stylus from an adder is easy to misplace. Probably the easiest way to get a substitute would be to purchase an entire device online.
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