Some simple adding machines were designed for consumers seeking to track their purchases. This small red plastic device has three white keys on top for entering dollars, dimes, and cents. The dollar wheel is numbered from 0 to 19. Pushing a key advances a wheel below one digit. Results appear in three windows on the front of the instrument. There is a carry. The instrument is held together by metal rivets. The mechanism is encased.
The machine is marked: QUICK-ADDER. It is also marked: NO.6319 MADE IN HONG KONG. It is also marked: DESIGN REGD.
In 1950, Theodore C. Romanchek (1897-1985) of Los Angeles took out a United States copyright for the term “quick adder.” From this date, and the general style of the object, it seems likely that it dates from the 1950s. It came to the Museum from the collection of John White.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 5.1 cm x 9.2 cm x 2 cm; 2 in x 3 5/8 in x 25/32 in
place made
Zhonghua: Hong Kong
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of John White
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

1/28/2015 9:57:41 PM
Don Micken
My parents used one of these in the late 60's to keep track if the groceries in the cart. Now the same amount of food is 200.00 to $400.00 not $17.23
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