Mercedes-Euklid Model 8 Calculating Machine


This full-keyboard electric proportional rod calculating machine has an iron and steel frame painted black and 13 columns of plastic keys. Keys are colored according to the size of the digits, not by their place value. A metal rod in back of the keyboard holds four sliding rods that can be used for decimal divisions. At the bottom of each column of keys is a red key that zeros the digit in that column. Moving a lever to the left of the number keys clears the entire keyboard. The keyboard is painted green. Numbers entered on the keys appear in a row of windows under the keyboard that shows 13 number dials.

At the front of the machine, a row of 16 windows shows the result. A row of eight windows shows the dials of the revolution counter, and another row of 16 dials may be used to accumulate totals. A thin metal piece painted black can cover this row. Finger knobs in front of the total windows alter the total and result dials simultaneously. A final set of knobs shows the multiplier in the machine’s automatic direct multiplication (small finger knobs in front of these dials are used to set up the number).

These four rows of dials are on a movable carriage. All five rows of dials have movable decimal markers. The motor for the machine is under the mechanism and behind the carriage. The plug is on the right side. A set of levers on the left of the carriage, near the end of the result windows, releases the carriage. Handles for lifting are on both sides of the machine.

A metal tag on the right of the machine reads: MERCEDES - (/) EUKLID. A metal tag next to the dials of the revolution counter reads: RALPH C. COXHEAD (/) MERCEDES-EUKLID (/) CALCULATING MACHINE (/) NEW YORK CHICAGO. A mark scratched in the base of the machine at the front reads: Property (/) Univ. Mich. A mark at the left front of the machine on the frame for the carriage reads: 9 [. . .]. A mark on the back of the machine reads: Made in Germany.

Ralph C. Coxhead was the American agent for the Mercedes-Euklid during the 1920s. This model sold for $1,225.00 in 1928.

This machine came to the Smithsonian from the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.


E. Martin, The Calculating Machines (Die Rechenmaschinen), trans. P. A. Kidwell and M. R. Williams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992, pp. 156–164.

J. H. McCarthy, The Business Machines and Equipment Digest, 1928, vol. 1, sec. 9, pp. 24–28.

Date Made: 1920s

Distributor: Coxhead, Ralph C.Maker: Mercedes-Bureau-Maschinen-Gesellschaft

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany: Berlin, BerlinPlace Distributed: United States: New York, New York City

Subject: Mathematics


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of University of Michigan, School of Public Health

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.324280Catalog Number: 324280Accession Number: 256654

Object Name: calculating machine

Physical Description: glass (overall material)plastic (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 33.6 cm x 47 cm x 32 cm; 13 7/32 in x 18 1/2 in x 12 19/32 in


Record Id: nmah_690622

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.