Burroughs Calculator Sample, Sterling Currency

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 use with British currency.
The machine has a black metal cover, black and white plastic keys, and a dark green metal keyboard under the keys. There are five columns of keys. The rightmost, as well as the three leftmost, are numbered from 1 to 9, with complementary digits indicated. The second column from the right has 9 “1” keys, with the complementary digit 0 on each key (hence the two right columns can be used to add shillings). All the odd numbered keys are concave and the even numbered keys are flat. The numeral wheels are at the front. The model has no handle.
This is one of four machine that is part of Burroughs Patent Model 231, although it has no patent tag.
The black cover is too big for this machine or the others in Burroughs Patent Model 231.
Compare 1982.0794.47, 1982.0794.48, and 1989.0794.49.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine model
date made
ca 1920
Burroughs Adding Machine Company
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 13 cm x 16.2 cm x 29.2 cm; 5 1/8 in x 6 3/8 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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