Olivetti Multisumma 22 Adding Machine

This ten-key listing electric adding machine has a blue-green plastic case with a black plastic cover for the paper tape and two-color ribbon. It has three rows of white plastic digit keys, with two bars below these, one for entering single zeros and the other for double zeros. Right of the digit keys are total, subtotal, subtraction, and entry bars. Left of the digit keys is a column of function keys, with a lever at the top and at the bottom of the column. Left of these are three further function keys and a white key which may be depressed. Above the keyboard is a place indicator for digits being entered. Numbers of up to 12 digits may be entered.
Behind the keyboard is the printing mechanism, which includes one bar for printing special characters. Results with up to 12 digits may be printed. There is a paper tape 3” (7.7 cm.) wide, with a plastic serrated edge for tearing it. A lever at the right releases tension on the platen. A plug extends from the back of the machine. The machine has a dark gray cloth cover laminated with plastic.
A mark on top of the machine reads: olivetti-underwood. a mark on a metal plate attached to the back reads: Multisumma 22 Olivetti (/) MADE IN ITALY - FABRIQUE EN ITALIE. The serial number on the bottom is M 346630.
According to Shapira, Olivetti purchased a controlling share of Underwood in 1959. The Olivetti Multisumma 20, apparently a later machine than the Multisumma 22, was introduced in 1965.
N. Shapira, Design Process Olivetti 1908-1978, 1979, p. 251, 252.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
ca 1960
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
overall: 28.2 cm x 22.3 cm x 37.2 cm; 11 3/32 in x 8 25/32 in x 14 21/32 in
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
maker number
M 346630
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Jack Lifshutz
Additional Media

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