Millionaire Calculating Machine

This lever-set, manually operated non-printing rack and pinion calculating machine has a brass mechanism and a metal case with lid. The top of the machine and the lid are painted black. The carriage is entirely contained within the case.
Eight German silver levers are pulled forward to set up digits. To the left of these is a crank, which may be set anywhere between 0 and 9 for direct multiplication by a single digit. To the right of the digit levers is a lever which may be set at addition, multiplication, division, or subtraction. Right of it is the operating crank. In front of the levers is a row of 8 windows that indicate the number set up by the levers. This row of windows is labeled: DIVISOR.
In front of these windows is the carriage, with two other rows of windows. The row closest to the levers (further from the front) indicates the multiplier or quotient; the other row shows the result. The second register also has thumbscrews that may be used to set a dividend. It is labeled “DIVIDEND.” Both these registers have zeroing knobs. Holes for decimal markers are between digits in all three registers, but this machine has no decimal markers. Between the front two registers, at the left, is a button used to shift the carriage. A bell rings when the carriage reaches its leftmost position, when the result changes sign (as in overdivision); and when the result exceeds the capacity of the machine.
Instructions for operating the machine, and related tables, are given in a paper sheet on the inside of the lid.
A mark in the middle of the front of the machine reads: THE MILLIONAIRE. A metal tag to the right reads: Hans W. Egli (/) Ingenieur (/) Fabrikation von Rechenmaschinen (/) Pat. O. Steiger (/)ZURICH II. A metal tag to the left indicates the name and address of the U.S. agent for the machine: W.A. Morschhauser (/) SOLE AGENT (/) 1 Madison Avenue (/) NEW YORK CITY. Below this tag is the serial number: No 2432.
Daniel Lewin has estimated that Millionaire calculating machines with serial number 500 date from 1900; those with serial number 1600, from 1905; and those with serial number 2800, from 1910. A machine with serial number 2432 might reasonably date from about 1909.
Daniel Lewin, "Die Entwicklungsgeschichte der Rechenmaschinen der Firma H.W. Egli bis 1931" Typenkorb, Nr. 48 and 49, 1992.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
ca 1909
Egli, Hans W.
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 18 cm x 65 cm x 28.6 cm; 7 3/32 in x 25 19/32 in x 11 1/4 in
place made
Schweiz: Zürich, Zurich
ID Number
catalog number
maker number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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