Marchant Model KC Calculating Machine

This full-keyboard, non-printing manually operated pinwheel calculating machine has a metal frame painted black and nine columns of plastic keys, with three columns black, three columns white, and three more columns black. At the base of each bank of keys is a red clearance key. The underlying keyboard is painted green. Metal rods between banks of keys serve as decimal markers.
Right of the number keys is a red keyboard clearance key, a multiply/divide key, and an addition/subtraction key. The operating crank on the right rotates backward (clockwise) for addition and multiplication and forward (counterclockwise) for subtraction and division.
Behind the keyboard is a movable carriage with the 18 windows of the result register. A lever at the front of the machine shifts the carriage, a button on the right side releases it, and a crank on the left end of the carriage clears it. Behind and above the carriage are nine windows showing digits entered, a lever that can be set for multiplication or division, and nine windows for the revolution register. Rotating a small crank on the right side clears this register.
Decimal markers slide on metal rods above all three registers. A metal flange below the result register helps the user place the carriage correctly. The machine has four rubber feet. At the back, two wooden cylinders have been attached to the base at the corners, so that the machine sits at an angle.
Plates attached to the right and left side read: MARCHANT. A metal plate right of the keyboard reads; MARCHANT (/) CALCULATORS (/) SIMPLICITY (/) ACCURACY (/) SPEED. A maker’s mark under the carriage on the right reads: 2097. A stamp on the bottom of the machine reads: KC 2097.
The Model KC, introduced in 1923 with initial serial number 1000, was one of Marchant Calculating Machine Company’s first three keyboard machines. It sold in 1924 for $350.00. By 1928 it was replaced by the model H-9.
Calvin Lieberman, the donor of this object, was associated with the steel recyling business in Toledo, Ohio, from at least 1937 through 1980.
J. H. McCarthy, American Digest of Business Machines, 1924, pp. 75–76, 549.
Business Machines and Equipment Digest, 1928, vol. I, p. 9–23.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
Marchant Calculating Machine Co.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 23 cm x 35 cm x 32.5 cm; 9 1/16 in x 13 25/32 in x 12 25/32 in
place made
United States: California, Oakland
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
maker number
KC 2097
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 Calvin Lieberman
Additional Media

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