Beach Calculating Machine

This small black machine sits on an iron base with four short legs. Seven toothed semicircular discs, mounted on a single shaft, are used to enter numbers. Between the toothed discs are full discs with the digits from 0 to 9 marked around the edge of each disc 3 times. The face of the machine is a steeply sloped curve with a rounded top. The toothed discs protrude from slots in the face, and one digit on each disc is visible through a window. The handle is on the right side. Several parts of the machine are missing.
The machine is marked on the front: THE (/) BEACH (/) CALCULATING (/) MACHINE. It is stamped on the bottom: 2151. A mark scratched on the bottom reads: Geo. J.
The Beach calculating machine was manufactured, at least initially, by the Book-Keeper Publishing Company of Detroit, Michigan. The firm had previously manufactured a two-wheeled stylus-operated adding machine on the design of Lester C. Smith (a modification of the Webb adder), but discontinued this product after a patent dispute.
Seal et al v. Bookkeeper Pub. Co., May 3, 1904, Case No. 1258, "Circuit Court of Appeals Reports", 64, Rochester: Lawyers’ Cooperative Publishing, 1905, pp. 651-657.
Elmer Henry Beach, Tools of Business, an Encyclopedia of Office Equipment and Labor Saving Devices, Detroit: Book-Keeper Publishing Co., Ltd., 1905, pp. 10-11.
The Thomas’ Register for 1907-1908 through 1912 list under Machinery - Adding, Calculating, etc. the Beach-Kauffman Mfg. Co. of Detroit, Michigan as the manufacturer of an adding machine.
Advertisement in Business, a Magazine for Office Store and Factory, vol 19 #1, (August 1906), p. 4, 63. The magazine was edited by Elmer Henry Beach. The advertisement indicates that the Beach-Kauffman Manufacturing Company was selling the machine.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
ca 1910
Beach-Kauffman Manufacturing Company
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
iron (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 19 cm x 20.5 cm x 18 cm; 7 15/32 in x 8 1/16 in x 7 3/32 in
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
ID Number
accession number
maker 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 L. Leland Locke
Additional Media

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