Mechanical Accountant

Mechanical Accountant

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This key-driven adding machine has a black metal case, and seven columns of nine plastic or ceramic keys and one column of seven keys. The rightmost column of keys is white, with eighth fractions from 1/8 to 7/8. The two columns left of this are black with white digits. The next three columns left of this are white with black digits, and the two leftmost columns are black with white digits. Complementary digits are indicated on the keys. Results appear in a row of nine windows in back of the keyboard. The latest number entered appears in a row of eight windows behind this. A metal lever in front of the keys cancels an entry, but not the total. There is an opening for a zeroing crank, but no crank. The windows are covered with translucent plastic.
This is the earlier “simplex” model of the machine, which was designed to have numbers entered one digit at a time. The simultaneous operation of two columns where a carry is involved results in loss of the carry.
The machine is marked at the front: Mechanical Accountant (/) MODEL H. (/) MANUFACTURED BY (/) MECHANICAL ACCOUNTANT CO.,PROV.,R.I. (/) PATENTED JULY 30TH. 1901(/) FEB.10TH, 1903. (/) OTHER PATENTS PENDING. The tag is also stamped: DEC.15.’91. No serial number was found.
Joseph Abram Turck of Providence, Rhode Island, assigned three patents to the Mechanical Accountant Company. Turck then went on to work for Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company of Chicago.
Compare MA.371386.
J. A. V. Turck, “Adding Machine,” U.S. Patent 631345, granted August 22, 1899.
J. A. V. Turck, “Calculating Machine,” U.S. Patent 679,348, granted July 30, 1901.
J. A. V. Turck, “Calculating-Machine,” U.S. Patent 720,086, granted February 10, 1903.
J. H. McCarthy, The American Digest of Business Machines, Chicago: American Exchange Service, 1924, p. 550.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
after 1903
Mechanical Accountant Company
place made
United States: Rhode Island, Providence
Physical Description
rubber (overall material)
metal (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 14 cm x 20.1 cm x 33.3 cm; 5 1/2 in x 7 29/32 in x 13 1/8 in
ID Number
accession 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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