Burroughs Calculator Sample, Double 1/8 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.
The machine has a black metal case with a green metal plate below five columns of plastic keys. The two right columns are for adding eighths. Both have seven keys marked off from 1/4 to 7/8 (several of these red key tops are missing). Three other columns have nine black keys, numbered from 1 to 9. Complementary numbers are indicated. Totals appear in six windows at the front of the machine. The two rightmost numeral wheels are red and indicate fractions. One of four rubber feet is missing. The cloth cover was taken from one received with 1982.0794.50.
A red tag attached to the machine is marked: PATENT DEPT. (/) #231. The machine is marked on the front: Burroughs. A yellow paper tag attached to the machine reads: Double (/) 1/8 Fraction. A metal tag attached to the object reads: DONATED TO (/) The Smithsonian Institution (/) by (/) Burroughs Corporation.
Objects 1982.0794.47, 1982.0794.48, 1987.0794.49, and 1982.0794.89 are all from Burroughs Patent Department Model 231.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
ca 1920
Burroughs Adding Machine Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
metal (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
overall: 13 cm x 16 cm x 29.2 cm; 5 1/8 in x 6 5/16 in x 11 1/2 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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