Remington Model 85 Bookkeeping Machine

Remington Model 85 Bookkeeping Machine

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Remington Rand bookkeeping machines, like those of several other American manufacturers, are the result of corporate mergers of the 1920s. The Remington Typewriter Company of Ilion, New York, sold a combination of its typewriter with an adding mechanism attachment made by the Wahl Company of Chicago in the early 20th century (see 2000.0106.01). From 1916 it marketed these products as “bookkeeping machines.” The Dalton Adding Machine Company of Norwood, Ohio, produced an adding machine with a wide carriage that could post entries and compute daily balances, but had limited typing capabilities.
In 1927, Remington Typewriter merged with Rand Kardex, Dalton, Baker-Vawter Company and the Powers Accounting Corporation (a maker of tabulating machines) to form Remington Rand. The firm soon produced a new line of electrified bookkeeping machines, of which this is an example.
The machine has a row of ten tabulator keys across the front, a row of digit keys behind them, a space bar behind this, and then three rows of a QWERTY typewriter keyboard. It has a wide carriage with a toothed metal bar that has 14 sliding mechanisms on it. Eight of these are “vertical totalizers,” sets of dials that show totals accumulated in different columns of the machine. Six of them show no digits. In addition to the vertical totalizers, there are two fixed registers on the right under the carriage that combine totals entered in the moving registers. The machine has a two-color ribbon and an electric cord.
A mark on the machine reads: Remington (/) ELECTRIFIED (/) 85 BOOKKEEPING MACHINE 85. A mark on a red sticker behind the platen reads: TO SAVE TIME IS TO LENGTHEN LIFE (/) “STANDARD” (/) REMINGTON (/) TYPEWRITER. A mark on a metal tag on the side of the machine reads: SERIAL NO. Y121914 (/) CARRIAGE E9/16R (/) KEYBOARD 3112 (/) TYPE 406 & 62 (/) NUMERALS 1 F14.
The stand for this machine has Museum number 1983.0284.01.
McCarthy, American Digest of Business Machines, 1924. pp. 481–484.
The Business Machines and Equipment Digest, ca. 1928, vol. 1, pp. 61–75. This does not include the Model 85.
Advertisement, Nation’s Business, December, 1931, p. 45. This announces Remington Rand’s launch of an electrified accounting machine.
American Office Machines Research Service, vol. II, 1939, Section 2.22. By this time the model 85 was not offered.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bookkeeping machine
date made
ca 1935
Remington Rand Inc.
place made
United States: New York, Elmira
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 38 cm x 74 cm x 58 cm; 14 31/32 in x 29 1/8 in x 22 27/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
maker number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Bookkeeping Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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