Burroughs Sample Calculator, 1/12 Fraction

In 1911, the Burroughs Adding Machine Company introduced a key-driven adding machine much like the Comptometer made by Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company. The Burroughs calculator, as the new machine was called, performed ordinary decimal arithmetic. Burroughs inventors soon designed special versions of the calculator to solve other problems. This is the model or sample for one of them.
This machine adds numbers up to four digits long and twelfths. It has four columns of nine keys, one column on the left with one key for zeroing the number wheel below, and one column on the right with two keys. There is no casing and one key top is missing. The frame is steel with black, white, and red plastic key tops. There are five plastic and metal numeral wheels at the front of the machine. The rightmost of these reads from 0 to 11 and is red. The other number wheels are black and read from 0 to 9. Three springs from the back of the machine are loose. A cloth cover is painted black.
A red tag attached to the machine reads: PATENT DEPT. (/) #230. A white tag attached to the machine reads: 505000 (/) Dept. Model (/) 363 (/) 1/12 Frac Apr 24 (/) lpc. A metal label attached to the machine reads: DONATED TO (/) The Smithsonian Institution (/) by (/) Burroughs Corporation. The case is marked: Burroughs
Models 1982.0794.44, 1982.0794.45, and 1982.0792.46 are all from Burroughs Patent Department model 230. This machine is the rightmost one in the images.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine model
date made
ca 1920
Burroughs Adding Machine Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 11.4 cm x 14 cm x 27 cm; 4 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in x 10 5/8 in
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Burroughs Corporation
Additional Media

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