Burkhardt Arithmometer

Although the arithmometer originated in France, by the early 20th century this German version of the machine sold in Paris.
The manually operated non-printing stepped drum calculating machine has a brass top plate painted black and a brass and steel mechanism that both fit snugly in a wooden case. Eight German silver levers move to set numbers. The operating crank is to the right of the levers, and an addition & multiplication / subtraction & division lever is to their left . The operating crank folds down so that the lid closes. At the far left is a compartment with a slate cover
Behind the levers is a carriage with a nine-window revolution register and a 16-window result register. Both registers have thumbscrews for setting numbers. Each window of the revolution register shows the digits from 0 to 9 in black, and from 1 to 8 in red. A bell sounds when the crank has been turned too often in subtraction and a negative number results. It is intended especially for use in division. A knob on the right side of the machine clears the revolution register, and another knob on the left side clears the result register. When these knobs are in use, brass bars extend out the sides of the carriage. Holes for decimal markers are between the levers and between the windows of the registers, but the machine has no decimal markers.
A piece of wood hinged to the back of the case of the machine can be released so that the instrument slopes toward the operator. A panel in the bottom of the case slides across to reveal the brass stepped drums.
The top of the lid of the case and the front of the machine have the mark: BURKHARDT (/) ARITHMOMETER. The back edge of the right side of the carriage has the serial number: N1197. The zeroing knobs are marked with the German patent number: D.R.G.M. (/) No78251. A mark left of the levers reads: GERMANY. A red label glued to the inside of the lid reads: MACHINES A ECRIRE (/) ET A CALCULER (/) ACHAT-VENT-ECHANGE (/) REPARATIONS. . . (/) G. BERNARD. . .(/) PARIS.
This machine came from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company.
Compare MA*313158, MA*313519, MA*323624 and MA*323597.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
ca 1900
Erste Glashütter Rechenmaschininfabrik
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
slate (overall material)
overall: 10.5 cm x 59.2 cm x 21 cm; 4 1/8 in x 23 5/16 in x 8 9/32 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 Victor Comptometer Corporation
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.