Marchant Model 10D Calculating Machine

This full-keyboard, non-printing electric proportional gear calculating machine has ten columns of green and white oval plastic keys. A red clearance key is at the bottom of each column. Rods between the columns of keys turn to serve as decimal markers. The rods and the keyboard are painted brown on one side. The rods are white on the other side. A row of windows above the keys shows the digits entered. To the right are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and SHORT CUT bars; clearance keys for the keyboard, the middle dial, and the upper dial; automatic divide and stop keys; and carriage shift keys.
Behind the keyboard is a movable carriage with a ten-digit revolution register and a 20-digit result register. The registers have sliding decimal markers. A lever on the right can be depressed to release the carriage. The machine has four rubber feet, a rubber electric cord, and a plastic cover.
The sides and back are marked: MARCHANT. The serial number tag attached to the base reads: 10-D-157365. Penciled on the base are the dates 10-9-45 and 9-27-43. A paper label on the base reads: Manufactured by (/) MARCHANT CALCULATING MACHINE COMPANY, Inc. (/) OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, U. S. A. (/) Made in U.S.A. (/) United States Patent 1640493. It also reads: 2229630. It also reads: Canada, Patented 1931, 1933, 1936, 1940. A mark on the cover reads: OFFICE MACHINES CO. (/) SALES & SERVICE (/) 2330 WYOMING (/) 532-5655
This model was the first of the Marchant “Silent Speed” machines. It was advertised as having “The Silent Speed of Lightning without the Thunder.” The model 10D was manufactured from 1934 to 1942. This example was owned and used by Curtis R. Taylor (b. 1902). Taylor became interested in surveying while serving in the U. S. Army, and took a correspondence course on the subject after his discharge. He worked for several years as a surveyor in Colorado and New Mexico, and became interested in civil engineering. Studying mathematics and engineering on his own, he took and passed the licensing examination in civil engineering in the state of Texas in 1948. He then worked for government agencies such as the Texas State Highway Department, the City of Houston, and Prince Georges County, Md.
Mr. Taylor carried his Marchant calculating machine in a battered white suitcase which was in poor condition when it arrived at the Museum and was not retained.
For related documentation, the pamphlet “Marchant Methods for Highway & Railroad Engineers,” see 1999.0139.02.
SCM Collection.
Accession File.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
Marchant Calculating Machine Company, Inc.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 21.4 cm x 38.5 cm x 37 cm; 8 7/16 in x 15 5/32 in x 14 9/16 in
place made
United States: California, Oakland
ID Number
catalog number
maker number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
Calculating Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Jo Ann T. Holmes
Additional Media

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