J. T. Campbell Adding Machine

This U.S. Patent Office model for a finger-operated adding machine has four metal wheels set flat into a wooden case with a metal top (the fifth wheel is missing). Around the top edge of each wheel are ten short pins labeled clockwise from 0 to 9. Above each wheel is a round opening in the case. The edge of this opening is also labeled clockwise from 0 to 9. The mechanism linking the wheels is out of order. The patent tag is tied to the machine. It reads: 24.990 (/) J.T. Campbell (/) Adding Mch. (/) Patented August 9, (/) 1859.
John T. Campbell also took out patents for an "Improvement in Portable Fence," U.S. Patent 63,853, April 16, 1867; an “Improvement in Lifting-Tongs,” U.S. Patent 130,194, May 1, 1877; and a 'Revolving Cultivator," U.S. Patent 329137, October 27, 1885.
According to U.S. Census records and a biographical account, Campbell was born in 1833. Raised near a saw mill in Parke County, Indiana, he worked variously as a carpenter, a surveyor and engineer, and a hotelkeeper. During the Civil War, he organized an infantry regiment to fight for the Northern cause. Captain Campbell was disabled by a war wound. On his return, he obtained various local and state offices. By 1880 he had moved to Indianapolis, where he worked briefly as a clerk in the Indiana State Bureau of Statistics. He then retired to Parke County.
U.S. Patent 24990, August 9, 1859.
A. T. Andreas, Atlas Map of Parke County, Indiana, Chicago, Illinois: by the author, 1874, p. 29.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
Campbell, J. T.
Campbell, J. T.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 3 cm x 26.2 cm x 10.5 cm; 1 3/16 in x 10 5/16 in x 4 1/8 in
place made
United States: Indiana, Rockville
place patented
United States: Indiana, Rockville
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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