I was at one of our smaller branch banks this week and although I was vaguely aware of this great old bank posting (adding) machine I had forgotten about it. This time I happen to have my camera with me so after my meeting I took a few minutes to look over this piece of history and capture a few images. The book beside the machine is the original handbook of instructions. The machine itself weighs 63 pounds and I have no idea what the metal stand (specifically built for the machine) would weigh.
A Google search of the model number retrieved some interesting facts. This Burroughs Class 1 was one of the most spectacular adding machines made. It was quite imposing at 19″ deep, over a foot tall and more than 63 lbs. It had beveled glass walls on 3 sides allowing viewing of the rocking segment mechanism. (The segments and key stops are seen clearly in the front window.)
The printing mechanism was “blind” meaning the user couldn’t see numbers as printed because they were behind the large machine. However, there was also a numeric register at the front of the machine just above the Burroughs logo. The printer had a wide carriage with a paper length setting and an end of page bell.
The red keys at the top allowed individual clearing of each column. The “C” key cleared the entire keyboard and the “R” key allowed repeated additions for multiplication. Total and Subtotal keys were also included.
These machines were made from 1905-1914 in models with 9, 11, and 17 digits – this 63 pounder is the smallest model. Options included fractions, dates, counting, and electric drive. There was also a similar class 2 series with two registers and a “transfer total” key to move numbers between the registers. Prices ranged from approximately $300 to more than $900 — Certainly not a trivial amount of money at the time.
Probably way more than you ever wanted to know about an obsolete adding machine but at least you can say you now know something you didn’t before reading this blog. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your Saturday they are so precious. Be careful.