This printing key-driven adding machine machine has a cherry case, a steel mechanism, steel keys with German silver and plastic key tops, and steel dials at the front that record the result. The eight columns of keys have nine keys in each column. The celluloid discs in the key tops are color-coded for cents (the two rightmost columns that are white), dollars to hundreds of dollars (the three middle columns that are turquoise), and thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars (the two leftmost columns that are white). Complementary digits are indicated on the discs. Nine numeral dials show the result through a single glass window in a metal piece at the front of the machine. A zeroing knob with lever is on the right side at the front. The printing mechanism is at the back, with a roll of paper tape above it. The paper tape is held down by a heavy curved wire. The wooden container for the paper tape folds down, covering the printing mechanism for transfer.

The machine has serial number 189, indicated at the center of the machine in front of the numeral wheels. It is marked on a metal tag on the right side of the machine: COMPTOGRAPH (/) PATENTED (/) JULY. 19. 87. 366945 [. . .] NOV. 25 90. 441,233 (/) FELT & TARRANT MFG. CO. (/) 52-53 ILLINOIS ST. (/) CHICAGO. The patent numbers and patent dates given are the first and last of those listed.

This device is from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company, as passed down to Victor Comptometer Corporation. It is described as #18 in that collection, an “improved narrow printing comptograph.”


U.S. Patents 568020 and 568021.

Accession Journal 1991.3107.06.

Date Made: ca 1890

Maker: Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Illinois, Chicago

Subject: Mathematics


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Victor Comptometer Corporation

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.323634Catalog Number: 323634Maker Number: 189Accession Number: 250163

Object Name: adding machine

Physical Description: paper (overall material)wood (overall material)glass (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 34.5 cm x 24.7 cm x 42.5 cm; 13 19/32 in x 9 23/32 in x 16 23/32 in


Record Id: nmah_690524

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