Marchant Model A Standard Calculating Machine

This lever-set, non-printing manually operated calculating machine has a black steel housing and a wooden base. Rotating the levers sets the pinwheels to enter a number. Color-coded digits marked on the spaces between the levers indicate the digits set. A bar in front of the levers rotates for zeroing. The wooden-handled steel operating crank 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 showing 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 dials in this register have red digits for subtraction and white ones for addition. Decimal markers slide above both registers on the carriage. The two bars in a metal box at the front of the machine assist in 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 layer of felt separates the machine and its wooden base. The lid is missing.
A metal plate to the left of the levers reads: The (/) Marchant (/) MANUFACTURED BY (/) MARCHANT CALCULATING (/) MACHINE CO., Inc. (/) OAKLAND, CAL. (/) PATENTED JUNE 6. 1911 (/) FEB. 22. 1916. the serial number on the back reads: No5398. A mark on the back of the carriage at the left reads: 1705.
Compare MA*335268, MA*323602, and MA*323603.
This machine comes from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company.
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)
rubber (overall material)
felt (overall material)
overall: 15 cm x 40.5 cm x 26 cm; 5 29/32 in x 15 15/16 in x 10 1/4 in
place made
United States: California, Oakland
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

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.