Reuter's Calculating Machine

This manually operated, non-printing calculating machine has a brass top painted black that fits closely into a roll-top wooden case, sloping toward the operator. Eight German silver levers on the machine rotate counterclockwise to set a digit. The number entered appears in a row of windows over the levers. Above this row is a steel rod with one sliding decimal marker.
The handle for operating the machine is right of the levers. The zeroing lever for the entry, as well as the addition & multiplication / subtraction & division lever, are left of the eight German silver levers. Left of this is a compartment with room for an inkwell and loose pieces. The cover of this compartment is missing and it is empty.
Behind the levers is a carriage with nine revolution register windows and 16 result register windows. Both registers have thumbscrews for setting numbers and sliding decimal markers. There is no carry in the revolution register. Two levers on the right side of the carriage zero its registers.
When the entry in the result register would become negative (as in subtraction or division), a bell rings. It rings again if a number is added to bring the total to zero or more.
The brass stepped drums are visible through a sliding panel in the bottom of the case. Metal lifting handles are on both ends of the case.
The machine is marked above the entry windows: REUTER’S (/) MULTIPLYING AND DIVIDING MACHINE (/) PHILADELPHIA,PA. Metal tags toward the front of the machine read: D.R.G.M. 394014 and: AUSL. PAT. ANGEM. A mark under the operating crank reads: D.R.G.M. (/) 329403. A mark to the left of the entry levers reads: PATENT (/) DEUTSCHLAND No. 217048 (/) OSTERREICH ANGEM. The serial number, inscribed under the carriage on the machine at the right, is 1363.
This is an example of the Saxonia calculating machine made by Schumann and Company in the German city of Glasshütte, and imported and distributed by the Philadelphia firm of Carl H. Reuter. Reuter advertised as an importer of the Brunsviga and Burkhardt calculating machines in 1906. A machine with a later serial number is from 1913.
This machine was used at the Sproul Observatory of Swarthmore College.
Compare MA*323596.
E. Martin, The Calculating Machines (die Rechenmaschinen), trans. P. A. Kidwell and M. R. Williams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992, pp. 126–127.
Railway Age, 42, August 17, 1906, p. 219.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1910
Carl H. Reuter
Schumann & Cie.
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Glashütte
place distributed
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 18.5 cm x 67 cm x 24 cm; 7 9/32 in x 26 3/8 in x 9 7/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Swarthmore College
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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