Archimedes Model C-16 Calculating Machine

This manually operated non-printing German stepped drum calculating machine has a brass and iron frame painted black. Ten relatively short levers at the front of the machine move forward to set the stepped drums beneath. A lever for zeroing these levers is to the left , and a row of ten windows above the levers shows the number set. To the left of these windows are two levers that can be set for addition and multiplication or subtraction and division (one lever is for the revolution counting register, one is for the result register). The operating crank is to the right of the digit levers.
Behind the levers is the movable carriage with a row of 16 windows for showing the result and a row of nine levers behind that for revolution counting. A row of knobs allows one to set up numbers in the result register. There are zeroing levers for both carriage levers to the right of the registers. A knob for lifting the carriage is on the right. A piece of plastic covers the underside of the machine. The stepped drums are of brass, cut away and held around a brass core by a metal piece painted black. There are four rubber feet.
A mark on the front of the machine reads: „Archimedes”. A mark on the left reads: ARCHIMEDES (/) Reinhold Pöthig (/) Glashütte, Sa. A tag on the carriage reads: 4177. A mark on the back edge of the carriage at the left reads: 6521. A mark on the left of the machine reads: PATENT.
According to Martin, the Model C Archimedes machine was introduced in 1913. On early versions of this model, the entry register was below the levers. The model C was still offered for sale in 1924, when the C-16 cost $375.00 new.
E. Martin, The Calculating Machines (Die Rechenmaschinen), trans. P. A. Kidwell and M. R. Williams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992, pp. 181–185.
J. H. McCarthy, American Digest of Business Machines, Chicago: American Exchange Service, 1924, p. 68.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
ca 1920
Reinhold Pöthig
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
brass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 11.7 cm x 38.5 cm x 17.5 cm; 4 19/32 in x 15 5/32 in x 6 7/8 in
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Glashütte
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
maker number
Science & Mathematics
Calculating Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of ICI Americas Inc.
Additional Media

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