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Webb Adder

Webb Adder

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Description
This two-wheeled stylus-operated non-printing adding machine is in a wooden frame. The large brass wheel has a ring of holes and the numbers 00 to 99 stamped around the edge. The numbers 0 to 99 also are stamped around the window for the larger wheel. Numbers are added by rotation of the wheels. Answers are recorded on a pedometer-like dial that has separate windows for ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands. The frame is screwed to the cover plate. There is a stylus. The large wheel is marked: C.H.WEBB. N.Y. It is also marked: “THE ADDER" PATD MARCH 10TH 1868. The back has the serial number: C1053. The dial is a modification of the instrument. It is marked on paper attached over the small wheel: N.Y.STANDARD WATCH COMPANY.
Charles Henry Webb (1834-1905) was a journalist, playwright, poet, and roamer. He patented a second version of this device in 1889. This example was owned by the Draper family of New York.
References:
C. H. Webb, “Improvement in Adding Machines,” U.S. Patent 75322, March 10, 1868.
“Machine for Addition,” Journal of the Franklin Institute, 60 (1870): pp. 8-9.
P. A. Kidwell, “The Webb Adder,” Rittenhouse, 1 (1986), pp. 12-18.
E. Martin, The Calculating Machines (Die Rechenmaschinen), trans. P. A. Kidwell and M. R. Williams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992, p. 63.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
1868-1889
patentee
Webb, Charles H.
maker
Webb, Charles H.
place made
United States: New York, New York City
place patented
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
brass (overall material)
brass, nickel-plated (overall material)
paper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2.5 cm x 17.3 cm x 12.2 cm; 31/32 in x 6 13/16 in x 4 13/16 in
ID Number
MA.335359
accession number
304826
catalog number
335359
Credit Line
Gift of John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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