Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. No re-opening date is available at this time. Check our website and social media for updates. Read a message from our director.

Summit Adding Machine

Summit Adding Machine

Usage conditions apply
By the mid-20th century, printing adding machines with a block of ten keys sold much more cheaply than full-keyboard machines. Mindful that it was losing sales, Burroughs Adding Machine Company of Detroit set out to manufacture its own ten-key machine. The Burroughs Patent Division acquired examples and blueprints of a recently introduced British adding machine, the Summit.
This manually operated example of the Summit has a steel case painted gray, a block of 12 number keys (for the 12 digits in Sterling currency), four keys on the right, and a “COR” key on the left. The metal crank on the right has a wooden handle. A place indicator is above the keyboard. The machine allows one to enter numbers up to nine digits long and prints nine-digit totals. The printing mechanism with paper tape is at the back. The paper tape is 6 cm. (2-3/8”) wide, with a serrated edge for tearing it off. A metal plate at the top lifts off for access to the mechanism and the black ribbon. The machine has wheels on the left and the right to advance the platen.
The machine is marked on the front: Summit. It is also marked there: MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN. It has serial number: #1885. A red Burroughs Patent Department tag attached to the machine reads: #300.
Compare to 1982.0794.77.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
place made
United Kingdom: Grand Bretagne
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 21 cm x 34 cm x 41.5 cm; 8 9/32 in x 13 3/8 in x 16 11/32 in
ID Number
maker number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Burroughs Corporation
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


Add a comment about this object