American Adding Machine, Model 5

American Adding Machine, Model 5

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This lever set non-printing adding machine has an plain steel case painted black. Seven steel levers painted red move in circular arcs between slots in the case. The case is painted along the edges of the slots with the digits from 0 to 9 (large and in black and white) and 9 to 0 (small and in red). The large digits are used in addition, the small ones in subtraction. There is a corrugation or depression in the cover for each digit. Digits are set by placing the index finger in the corresponding depression and raising the lever by the thumb until it is stopped by the finger. They are entered by moving down a metal handle with a wooden knob on the top right. The result appears in nine windows above the levers. If no number is set, moving down the handle zeros the machine. Another handle on the right side zeros digits set incorrectly. A silver-colored repeat lever on the left front is used in multiplication. Moving it down increases the number shown on a number wheel at the front of the machine by one digit each time the entering lever is depressed. The machine has four rubber feet as well as a paper tag.
The serial number tag on the bottom reads: MODEL FIVE (/) NO. 57251. The machine is marked on the front: AMERICAN (/) ADDING MACHINE (/) MODEL 5 (/) AMERICAN CAN COMPANY (/) PAT. AUGUST 27, 1912 (/) OTHER PATS. PEND. It is also marked there: CHICAGO, ILL. It is also marked there: PAY ROLL DISTRIBUTION - SEE INSTRUCTIONS.
Compare MA.333921.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
American Can Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 23.5 cm x 18.6 cm x 23.8 cm; 9 1/4 in x 7 5/16 in x 9 3/8 in
ID Number
accession number
maker number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Katherine Patricia Becker
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Good morning, I found this adding machine at my Grandparents house as I was cleaning it out. American Adding Machine model 5 Aug 1912 American Can Comany Chicago, Ill I am just trying to find out as much about it as I can. They were both raised during the Great Depression and she kept detail notes on where they spent EVERY penny.

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