Brunsviga Model B Calculating Machine

This lever-set, non-printing, and manually operated pinwheel calculating machine has a metal housing painted black, a brass and steel mechanism, and nine levers for entering numbers. A steel crank with a wooden handle that extends from the right side of the machine rotates backward (clockwise) for addition and multiplication, and forward (counterclockwise) for subtraction and division.
A movable carriage at the front of the machine has 13 windows that show dials of the result register on the right, and eight windows for the revolution register on the left. The revolution register has no carry. The digits on the revolution register dial are white for additions and red for subtractions. Holes for decimal markers between digits of the result and revolution registers presently have no markers. Depressing a lever at the front of the machine releases the carriage for shifting. To zero the registers, one rotates wing nuts at the ends of the carriage. The left end of the carriage carries a bell.
A mark on the front of the machine reads: BRUNSVIGA. A second mark there reads: No 4644. A third mark (part of the Brunsviga trademark) is: G.N.& C.C.a.A. A mark on the left side of the machine reads: Grimme, Natalis & Co.(/) Braunschweig - Brunswick (/) System W.T. Odhner. It includes a list of patents from Germany (64925), Belgium (91812), England (13700). Austria (45538), Hungary (69363); Switzerland (4578), and France (301119 and 303744). The United States is also listed, but no patent date is given. A fifth mark, on a property sticker attached to the back of the carriage reads: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (/) 10248-WB-Z.
The case has a wooden base and a metal lid painted black, with a leather handle and a place for a lock at the front. A cloth bag with small loose parts is stored with the machine.
The Weather Bureau of the United States Department of Commerce transferred this machine to the Smithsonian in 1958.
E. Martin, The Calculating Machines (Die Rechenmaschinen), trans. P. A. Kidwell and M. R. Williams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992, pp. 109–113.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
Grimme, Natalis & Co.
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
leather (overall material)
overall: 15.7 cm x 42 cm x 19.4 cm; 6 3/16 in x 16 17/32 in x 7 5/8 in
place made
Deutschland: Niedersachsen, Braunschweig
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
Transfer from US Department of Commerce, Weather Bureau
Additional Media

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