Odhner Arithmometer


The family of W. T. Odhner continued to manufacture calculating machines in St. Petersburg from the time of Odhner’s death in 1905 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. This is a pinwheel calculating machine made in that period.

The machine has a brass frame painted black with eight metal pinwheels and a wooden base. Numbers are set by rotating the pinwheels forward using levers that extend from the wheels. Digits inscribed on the frame next to the rotating pinwheels to show the number set. The machine has no separate set of windows to show these digits.

The carriage at the front of the machine has eight windows for the revolution counter on the left and 13 windows for the result register on the right. A thin metal rod attached above the windows of the carriage carries two decimal markers. Wing nuts at opposite ends of the carriage zero these registers. To release the carriage, one pushes down a lever at the front. A crank with a wooden knob on the right side of the machine rotates clockwise for addition and multiplication and counterclockwise for subtraction and division.

A mark on the top of the machine reads: Odhner’s [/] Arithmometer. Another mark there reads: No. 7368. A circular inscription on the left front reads: MASCHINENFABRIK (/) W.T. ODHNER (/) ST PETERSBURG

According to the donor, his father, the civil engineer Fred C. Dunham of the state of Washington, purchased the machine in October 1907 from the German agent of Brurnsviga, who had taken over two Odhner machines from a Russian agent. The older Dunham added the bar for decimal markers. The machine proved highly reliable.


Accession file.

U.S. Census records.

Henry Wassen, Odhner History, Gothenburg, Aktiebolaget Original-Odhner, 1951.

Date Made: 1907

Maker: Maschinnenfabrik W. T. Odhner

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Russia: Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg

Subject: Mathematics


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Estate of Fred C. Dunham

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.328418Accession Number: 272526Catalog Number: 328418Maker Number: 7368

Object Name: calculating machine

Physical Description: brass (overall material)wood (overall material)steel (overall material)wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 13.5 cm x 37 cm x 20.3 cm; 5 5/16 in x 14 9/16 in x 8 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-29a6-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_690750

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