Millionaire Calculating Machine

Millionaire Calculating Machine

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The lever-set manual non-printing direct multiplication calculating machine has a brass mechanism and a metal case with lid. The lid and the flat plates that cover the mechanism are painted black. The carriage is entirely contained within the case. The ten German silver levers are pulled forward to set up numbers. Left of these is a crank that may be set anywhere between 0 and 9 for direct multiplication and division. Right of the digit levers is a lever that may be set at addition, multiplication, division, or subtraction. Right of it is the operating crank. In front of the levers is a row of 10 windows, which indicates the number set on the levers. These are labeled DIVISOR.
In front of the row of windows is the carriage, with two other rows of windows. The row closest to the levers (further from the front) indicates the multiplier or quotient, the other row, the result or the dividend. The result windows are labeled DIVIDEND and may be set with a dividend using thumbscrews. Zeroing knobs for both these registers are on the carriage. All three registers have holes for decimal markers between digits. One decimal marker survives.
Between the front two registers, at the left, is a button used to shift the carriage. A bell rings when the result changes sign (as in over division). Instructions for operating the machine, and related tables, are given on a paper sheet inside of the lid. A brush for cleaning the machine also is inside the lid. The stand under this machine is not part of this object. It goes with MA.333940. Dimensions don’t include it. This stand has a wooden table at the front that folds down.
Where this machine was used is unknown. It was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution from the Seattle office of the General Services Administration in 1967. The machine has serial number 837.
Precise dating of Millionaire calculating machines is uncertain. Daniel Lewin has estimated that machines from 1900 have serial number 500, those with serial number 1600 from 1905, and those with serial number 2800 from 1910. If this is accurate, machines with serial number in the 800s would date from 1901 to 1904. The Spectator Company, a New York publisher of books on insurance and distributor of calculating machines advertised the Millionaire in 1903. Morschhauser is described as the distributor from at least 1905 onward. Hence a rough date of 1904 for this machine.
Compare MA.311943, MA.312818 and MA.312819.
Daniel Lewin, "Die Entwicklungsgeschichte der Rechenmaschinen der Firma H.W. Egli bis 1931" Typenkorb, Nr. 48 und 49, 1992.
The Insurance Year Book 1903-1904, New York: The Spectator Company, 1903, p. 28.
E. H. Beach,ed., Tools of Business: An Encyclopaedia of Office Equipment and Labor Saving Devices, Detroit: The Book-Keeper Publishing Co, 1905, pp. 14–15.
Currently not on view
Object Name
calculating machine
date made
ca 1904
Egli, Hans W.
place made
Switzerland: Zürich, Zurich
Physical Description
ferrous metal (overall material)
brass (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
hair (overall material)
paper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 17.8 cm x 77 cm x 30 cm; 7 in x 30 5/16 in x 11 13/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
maker number
accession number
Credit Line
Transfer from US General Services Administration
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Calculating Machines
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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