Burroughs Class 5 Adding Machine

This full keyboard non-printing manual adding machine is painted black with a green keyboard. It has black and white octagonal plastic keys. The nine columns of keys have nine keys in each column. Odd-numbered keys are concave, even-numbered ones flat. Complementary digits are indicated as well as numbers. Ten windows at the front show the sum of numbers as the numbers are entered. A single key in the upper left corner controls the numeral wheel seen through the tenth window. The machine has two legs at the back which hold it up at an angle. There is a black plastic cover. Compare to Burroughs calculator.
The Burroughs calculator was sold as the Burroughs Class 5 from 1918 into the 1960s.
American Digest of Business Machines, 1924, pp. 70-71.
Currently not on view
date made
Burroughs Adding Machine Company
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
Physical Description
rubber (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 17 cm x 24.5 cm x 30.5 cm; 6 11/16 in x 9 21/32 in x 12 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Credit Line
Gift of Western Union Telegraph Company
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History


I have a sterling version of this with 9 columns for pounds, 2 columns for shillings, a column for pennies and a column for halfpennies and farthings. Serial# E5 A119717. I bought this recently as a memento because I was a field engineer working on a variety of Burroughs equipment in Christchurch, NZ, Sydney, Australia and Vancouver and Toronto, Canada from 1962 to 1969 Unfortunately I never worked on this particular class and it does need some attention.
"Have a smaller version that has only 5 columns, with a 6 digit readout display. Came from Wertheimer Cattle Co., Montgomery, Ill.Was used for years by two generations of owners. Burroughs Adding Machine Company, Detroit, Mi listed on back as the Mfgr.Ser # stamped into the bottom: 5A121988. Bought at an estate sale.I am a retired 34 year employee of Burroughs/Unisys Corp.Very rare to see a small one like this during my employment there."

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