Reuter's Calculating Machine

This stepped drum manual non-printing calculating machine has a brass top that fits closely into a roll-top wooden case. The top is stuck and cracked at the front. The seven German silver levers on the machine (another one is missing) are rotated counterclockwise to set digits. The number entered appears in a row of windows over the levers.
Above this is a steel rod with one sliding decimal marker. The operating handle is right of the levers. The zeroing lever for the entry and the addition & multiplication / subtraction & division lever are left of the levers. Left of this is a small empty compartment with room for an inkwell and cover.
Behind the levers is a carriage with nine revolution register windows and 16 result register windows. Both registers have thumbscrews for setting numbers and two decimal markers that slide on steel rods. The revolution register does not carry as numbers are added. When the entry in the result register would become negative (as it might in subtraction or division), a bell rings. It rings again if a number is added so the result is once again zero or positive. There are four rubber feet. 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 machine.
The machine is marked above the entry levers: REUTER’S (/) MULTIPLYING AND DIVIDING MACHINE (/) PHILADELPHIA,PA. It is marked on metal tags near the front of the case: D.R.G.M. 394014 and: AUSL. PAT. ANGEM. It is marked under the crank: D.R.G.M. (/) 329403. It is marked to the left of the entry levers: PATENT (/) GERMANY. The serial number marked below the carriage on the left side of the machine and at the center back edge of the case is 3100. A slip of paper under the glass is marked: Received for trial MAY 27 1913 (/) overhauled (/) and (/) returned June 4 1922.
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. It is from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company.
E. Martin, The Calculating Machines (die Rechenmaschinen), trans. P. A. Kidwell and M. R. Williams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992, pp. 126–127.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
Unlinked Name
Schumann & Cie.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 20 cm x 68.5 cm x 25.5 cm; 7 7/8 in x 26 31/32 in x 10 1/32 in
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Glashütte
place distributed
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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 Victor Comptometer Corporation

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