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This printing key-driven adding machine machine has a cherry case, a steel mechanism, steel keys with German silver and plastic key tops, and steel dials at the front that record the result. The eight columns of keys have nine keys in each column. The celluloid discs in the key tops are color-coded for cents (the two rightmost columns that are white), dollars to hundreds of dollars (the three middle columns that are turquoise), and thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars (the two leftmost columns that are white). Complementary digits are indicated on the discs. Nine numeral dials show the result through a single glass window in a metal piece at the front of the machine. A zeroing knob with lever is on the right side at the front. The printing mechanism is at the back, with a roll of paper tape above it. The paper tape is held down by a heavy curved wire. The wooden container for the paper tape folds down, covering the printing mechanism for transfer.
The machine has serial number 189, indicated at the center of the machine in front of the numeral wheels. It is marked on a metal tag on the right side of the machine: COMPTOGRAPH (/) PATENTED (/) JULY. 19. 87. 366945 [...] NOV. 25 90. 441,233 (/) FELT & TARRANT MFG. CO. (/) 52-53 ILLINOIS ST. (/) CHICAGO. The patent numbers and patent dates given are the first and last of those listed.
This device is from the collection of Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company, as passed down to Victor Comptometer Corporation. It is described as #18 in that collection, an “improved narrow printing comptograph.”
U.S. Patents 568020 and 568021.
Accession Journal 1991.3107.06.
Currently not on view
Object Name
adding machine
date made
ca 1890
Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 34.5 cm x 24.7 cm x 42.5 cm; 13 19/32 in x 9 23/32 in x 16 23/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
maker number
accession 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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