Counter from a Hollerith Tabulating Machine

This is a single counter from a Hollerith tabulating machine. It has square brass pieces on top and bottom, with a brass mechanism in between. A paper-covered metal dial on top is divided around the edge into 100 equal parts. Two hands are on the face of the dial. Advancing the small hand by 100 (one revolution) advances the large hand by one. Hence the counter can read up to 9,999.
A mark around the center of the dial reads: THE HOLLERITH (/) ELECTRIC TABULATING SYSTEM (/) PATENTED, 1889.
Compare to the dials on MA*312895.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1890
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 6 cm; 2 15/16 in x 2 15/16 in x 2 3/8 in
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
Tabulating Equipment
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Tabulating Equipment
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of the Estate of Herman Hollerith, Jr.
Additional Media

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