American Adding Machine, Model 0

This lever-set non-printing adding machine has an etched steel case, painted black and resting on four rubber feet. Seven levers move in circular arcs between slots in the case. The case is painted along the edges of the slots with digits from 0 to 9 (large and in black and white) and 9 to 0 (small and in red). The large digits are used in addition, the small ones in subtraction. The cover has a corrugation or depression for each digit. Digits are set by placing the index finger in the corresponding depression and raising the lever by the thumb until it is stopped by the finger. They are entered by moving down a metal handle with a wooden knob on the right side. If no number has been entered, moving the knob zeros the machine. The result appears in seven windows above the levers. Another handle on the right side zeros digits set incorrectly.
The machine is marked on a plaque attached to the front: AMERICAN (/) ADDING MACHINE (/) AMERICAN CAN COMPANY (/) ADDING MACHINE DIVISION (/) CHICAGO, ILL. No 23096. It is also marked there: PAT. AUG. 27, 1912 (/) OTHER PATS. PEND.
Compare MA*323606.
By 1924, American adding machines were made by the American Adding Machine Company of Chicago.
J. H. McCarthy, The American Digest of Business Machines, Chicago: American Exchange Service, 1924, p. 27, 518.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
American Can Company Adding Machine Division
Physical Description
rubber (overall material)
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
overall: 23.5 cm x 20.4 cm x 24.2 cm; 9 1/4 in x 8 1/32 in x 9 17/32 in
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
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 Colonial Life Insurance Company of America
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.