Correspondence of John Gould Relating to his Arithmetical Frame

Nineteenth-century inventors of improved school apparatus often collected testimonials from teachers and administrators who would attest to the value of their inventions. This collection of documents includes business documents and correspondence relating to Gould’s Patent Arithmetical Frame, a device patented by Henry K. Bugbee and then improved by John Gould. The lists of potential customers and testimonial letters date from the years 1880 to 1893. At least from 1885, Gould was in Chatham, New Jersey, which is where he was when he received his patent in 1882.
Correspondents include educators in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and New York. The 1881 instructions for the device (1994.0038.02) give an address in New York City. That booklet includes some testimonials, but none of the letters preserved here.
For an example of the arithmetical frame, see 1994.0038.01.
H. K. Bugbee, “Arithmetical Frame,” U.S. Patent 43,545, July 12, 1864.
J. Gould, “Arithmetical Frame,” U.S. Patent 262,221, August 8, 1882.
“Gould’s Pat. Improved Arithmetical Frame, “ The Primary Teacher, vol. 5 #7, March, 1882, p. 270 (advertisement).
Currently not on view
date made
Gould, John
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 1 cm x 22.3 cm x 27 cm; 13/32 in x 8 25/32 in x 10 5/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Joel S. and D. Hope Pratt
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Arithmetic Teaching
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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