Burroughs Experimental Adding Machine


The Burroughs Adding Machine Company made most of its profits on adding machines that had one column of nine keys for each digit of a number (these are called full-keyboard adding machines). Members of the Patent Department also experimented with machines having only ten keys for entering numbers. This is an example of such an experiment.

The manually operated printing adding machine allows one to enter numbers with up to nine digits and print nine-digit results. It has an additional column of symbol keys in the output. The frame of the case is metal painted black, the sides are of glass. One of these sides is missing. Ten black numeral keys are arranged in two rows. The six white function keys are for subtotal, non-add, backspace, non-print, repeat and error (a seventh function key has key stem only). A row of numeral wheels above indicates the sum. The keyboard is covered with green felt. A dial-shaped place indicator is on the right front. The machine has a 10 3/8”- wide carriage. There is a paper tape, but no ribbon was located. A metal handle with wooden knob painted black is on the right.

The machine is marked on the front: BURROUGHS. It is marked on a metal tag above the keyboard: B.A.M.CO. (/) MODEL (/) NO. 106. A metal tag attached to the object reads: DONATED TO (/) The Smithsonian Institution (/) by (/) Burroughs Corporation.

This machine resembles the drawing in A. A. Horton’s United States patent 1,323,475, but is not precisely the same. Horton applied for the patent in 1911 and was granted it in 1919. According to a note with the patent application, a patent originally was applied for July 31, 1911. It was allowed May 19, 1917, but forfeited to prevent publicity of the invention in view of wartime conditions that prevented filing a patent application in Germany. The application was renewed May 15, 1919, and issued December 21, 1919.

The machine is from the collection of the Patent Division of Burroughs Corporation.

Date Made: 1911

Maker: Burroughs Adding Machine Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Michigan, Detroit

Subject: Mathematics


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Adding Machines, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Burroughs Corporation

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1982.0794.13Accession Number: 1982.0794Catalog Number: 1982.0794.13

Object Name: adding machine

Physical Description: metal (overall material)wood (overall material)paper (overall material)plastic (overall material)felt (overall material)glass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 25.3 cm x 38.7 cm x 36.5 cm; 9 31/32 in x 15 1/4 in x 14 3/8 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-196e-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_690111

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