American Adding Machine, Model 0

American Adding Machine, Model 0

Usage conditions apply
This lever set non-printing manually operated adding machine has an etched steel case painted black. Seven levers 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 for addition, the small ones for subtraction. A corrugation or depression in the cover is found at the place of 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 right side. The result appears in seven windows above the levers. Rotating a knob on the left side of the machine transforms the action of the handle from addition to zeroing. Another handle on the right side zeros digits set incorrectly. The machine has four rubber feet.
The machine is marked on a plaque attached to the front: AMERICAN (/) ADDING MACHINE (/) AMERICAN CAN COMPANY (/) ADDING MACHINE DIVISION (/) CHICAGO, ILL. No 1153. It is also marked there: PAT. AUG. 27, 1912 (/) OTHER PATS. PEND.
By mid-1922, American Adding Machines were made by the American Adding Machine Company of Chicago. Compare MA.333921.
J. H. McCarthy, The American Digest of Business Machines, Chicago: American Exchange Service, 1924, pp. 27, 518.
Jervis R. Harbeck, "Adding-Machine," U.S. Patent 1,036,614, August 27, 1912.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
American Can Company Adding Machine Division
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
rubber (overall material)
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
aluminum (overall material)
overall: 20.2 cm x 19 cm x 24 cm; 7 15/16 in x 7 15/32 in x 9 7/16 in
ID Number
accession number
maker number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Victor Comptometer Corporation
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I have this exact machine, but I can't figure out how to use the subtraction feature, can you help. Out of curiosity I took the outside case off and found a few hundred dollars in old $10s and $20s, I thought that was interesting. I still have the bills.
I have this adding machine, so it is wonderful to read about it. It came from a local manufacturer here in Bristol, CT.

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