Burroughs Moon-Hopkins Style 7205 Bookkeeping Machine on Stand

In 1904 St. Louis machinist and inventor Hubert Hopkins applied for a patent for a “multiplying and typewriting machine.” This was the first of several related patents. With the backing of local businessman John C. Moon, he soon organized the Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine Company and had a commercial machine manufactured and out on trial by 1908. Business success proved elusive, and after extensive negotiations, the Burroughs Adding Machine Company purchased rights to the machine in 1921. This is a Burroughs version of the Moon-Hopkins.
The machine sits on a metal stand painted black (the dimensions of the machine are about 43.2 cm. w. x 60.5 cm. d. x 74.2 cm. h. – overall dimensions are 50 cm. w. x 63.5 cm. d. x 104 cm. h.) It has a metal frame and back, with glass sides. The keys have a white background, with numbers and letters apparently printed on plastic.
The machine has two rows of keys, with ten keys in each row, at the front. These keys are numbered to form two sets of number keys. Various function keys are on the left side and at the front. Behind and above the numeral keys is another bar, and then four rows of letter and number keys as on a typewriter keyboard. Above these is a row of four keys numbered from 1 to 4. To the left of the letter keys are ribbon shift, margin release, shift lock, and shift key non-print keys. To the right of the letter keys are point off, decimal discount, and carriage-return keys. Above the keyboard is a “REG. [/] TRIP” key. It is attached to a pointer that can point to 1, 2, or 3.
Behind the keys is a wide carriage, behind which is a narrow carriage with paper tape. The motor fits under the machine.
A mark on the top of the machine reads: Burroughs (/) Moon-Hopkins (/) THIS MACHINE PROTECTED BY U.S. AND FOREIGN PATENTS. The serial number, visible on a plate on the left side, is: 7-823880.
This object was lent to the Smithsonian by Burroughs Adding Machine Company in 1924. It was donated to the Museum by Unisys Corporation in 2011.
P. A. Kidwell, “The Adding Machine Fraternity at St. Louis: Creating a Center of Invention, 1880–1920.” IEEE Annals of the History of cComputing, 22 #2 (April-June 2000), pp. 14–17.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bookkeeping machine on stand
date made
Burroughs Adding Machine Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 74.2 cm x 43.2 cm x 60.5 cm; 29 7/32 in x 17 in x 23 13/16 in
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
ID Number
catalog number
maker number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
Bookkeeping Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Bookkeeping Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Unisys Corporation
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

10/12/2015 1:11:39 PM
Tony Sidaway
A 1950s model of the Moon Hopkins machine has recently been acquired by a Belgian museum. Also branded by Burroughs, this one was apparently used by the physicist Georges Lemaître, who first proposed the theory that became known as the Big Bang. https://plus.google.com/+FabriceLété/posts/dEpSxNUiKGf
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