Marchant Model A Standard Calculating Machine

This lever-set, non-printing, and manually operated pinwheel calculating machine has a black steel housing, a wooden base, and a black metal case with a leather handle. Niine levers are used to set the pinwheels, with color-coded numbers marked on the spaces between the levers. A bar in front of the levers can be shifted to zero them. A steel crank with a wooden handle extends from the right side of the machine. It rotates backward (clockwise) for addition and multiplication and forward (counterclockwise) for subtraction and division.
At the front of the machine is a movable carriage with 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 mechanism. Digits in this register are white for addition and red for subtraction. Decimal markers slide above both the registers on the carriage. At the front of the machine are two bars in a metal box, one for moving the carriage in either direction. Wing nuts at the ends of the carriage zero the registers on it. A bell on the left side of the carriage rings when the result passes through zero.
A rectangular metal plaque attached right of the entry levers reads: The (/) Marchant (/) MANUFACTURED BY (/) MARCHANT CALCULATING (/) MACHINE CO., Inc. (/) OAKLAND, CAL. (/) PATENTED JUNE 6. 1911 (/) FEB. 22. 1916. A maker’s number on the back of the machine, is: No 5819. A National Bureau of Standards inventory number, stamped on the base and on the front of the cover is: BS 16940. Another maker’s number, on the back of the carriage at the left, is: 2126.
The metal case that fits over the machine and its wooden base has a lock and key at the front, and four rubber feet.
Compare to MA*323602 (different shift control), MA*311952 (Pony size), and MA*323603.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
ca 1918
Marchant Calculating Machine Company, Inc.
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
leather (overall material)
brass (overall material)
iron (overall material)
felt (overall material)
overall: 16.3 cm x 40.5 cm x 28.3 cm; 6 13/32 in x 15 15/16 in x 11 5/32 in
place made
United States: California, Oakland
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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 Edith R. Meggers
Additional Media

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