Handheld Numeral Frame or Abacus

Handheld Numeral Frame or Abacus

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This handheld teaching abacus has twelve horizontal wires held in a wooden frame with handle. Each wire has twelve wooden beads. The two topmost rows of beads are uncolored, the next two rows are green, the four rows below this are yellow, and the four rows at the bottom are (faint) red.
The general shape of this numeral frame resembles Holbrook's Numerical Frame as sold by J.A. Bancroft & Company of Philadelphia in about 1870, but the coloring of the beads is different.
No maker's mark.
J.A. Bancroft & Co., Illustrated Catalog of School Merchandise, Furniture, Apparatus, Charts, &C., Philadelphia, ca. 1870.
Currently not on view
Object Name
numeral frame
Physical Description
wood (frame, beads, handle material)
metal (wires material)
overall: 38.2 cm x 30.5 cm x 2.8 cm; 15 1/32 in x 12 in x 1 3/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Dr. Richard Lodish American School Teaching Collection
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Arithmetic Teaching
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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