# Verea Calculating Machine Model

Description:

In 1878 Ramon Verea, a Spanish-born newspaper publisher in New York City, sent the U.S. Patent Office this model of a calculating machine he had invented. It was one of the first calculating machines that could multiply a number by a digit directly, rather than be repeated addition. The machine did not become a commercial product.

The lever-set machine has flat brass sides and is open at the front, bottom and back to reveal the mechanism. At the front are two ten-sided brass prisms that are mounted vertically. Each of the sides of the each prism has two columns of holes, with ten holes in a column. The holes come in ten sizes, with the largest and deepest representing 0, and the smallest and shallowest, 9. The holes represent multiples of a given digit.

Above the prisms are two knobs that move in slots in the flat top of the machine. Pulling forward a knob rotates the cylinder below, so that the side facing the back of the machine has holes representing multiples of the digit desired. Behind this mechanism is a row of tapered pins. Pulling a lever at the back of the machine raises or lowers these pins in order to set the multiplier. Turning a crank on the right side moves the pins up to the faces of the prisms and, where there are holes in the prism, allows the pins to enter to a certain depth.

Once the surface of a prism touched a pin, it pushed the pin, and a rack behind the pin, backward. Pins entering shallow holes reach the prism quickly and have a correspondingly greater effect on the rack. Pinions linked to the racks rotate correspondingly, rotating the result wheels at the back of the machine, with carrying occurring as required. Further turning of the crank restores the prisms, racks, and pins to their original position.

A mark on the top front of the machine reads: R. VEREA (/) NEW YORK. Verea had close ties to Cuba.

The model was displayed at the Museums of the Peaceful Arts in New York City. When that museum closed, it was given to the Smithsonian Institution by L. Leland Locke.

References:

R. Verea, “Improvement in Calculating Machines,” U.S. Patent 207918, September 10, 1878.

L. Leland Locke, “The First Direct-Multiplication Machine,” Typewriter Topics, November, 1926, pp. 16 and 18.

P. Kidwell, “Ideology and Invention: The Calculating Machine of Ramon Verea,” Rittenhouse, vol. 9, 1995, pp. 33–41.

Patentee: Verea, RamonMaker: Verea, Ramon

Place Made: United States: New York, New York CityPlace Patented: United States: New York, New York City

Subject: MathematicsLatino

Subject:

Exhibition: My Computing Device

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of L. Leland Locke

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.311942Catalog Number: 311942Accession Number: 155183

Object Name: calculating machine

Physical Description: ferrous metal (overall material)brass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 13.3 cm x 17.5 cm x 20.2 cm; 5 1/4 in x 6 7/8 in x 7 15/16 in

Record Id: nmah_694176

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