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Dalton Adding Machine

iron, steel, plastic, rubber, wood, and aluminum
Dalton Adding Machine Company (1902-1928) & Remington Rand
Hurbert Hopkins (1859-1930) and James Lewis Dalton (1866-1926)
$125-$150 (1915); $100 (1926)
The Dalton Adding Machine was the first patented ten-key adding machine and became very popular during its time. James Lewis Dalton (1866-1926), was a business savvy hardware store clerk with a love for inventing and when his efforts didn’t achieve the best results he decided to invest in Hurbert Hopkins’ invention, the 10-key adding machine. After many complex business negotiations with Hubert Hopkins (1859-1930), his brother William Hopkins (1850-1916) and other adding machine companies, Dalton held the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the Dalton and formed the Dalton Adding Machine Company. The machine was patented in 1899-1912, introduced in 1902 and was on the market until 1928, when Remington Rand merged with the Dalton Adding Machine Company and took over selling many models, redesigned without the stylish glass side features for practical reasons.

This Dalton ten-key manual adding machine is from the late 1920’s or later since the glass sides are not present. There are two rows of white plastic number keys marked with digits in the sequence: [2 4 5 7 9] on top and [1 3 0 6 8] below. The black keys are function keys labeled: multiply, backspace, correction, release, subtotal, and total. Located on the right hand side is a hand crank. The machine is designed to print out nine-digit totals on a paper roll inserted into a paper tape dispenser and feed through a movable nine-inch carriage located just in front.

By the 1920's over 150 models of Dalton Adding Machines were designed. Its popularity arouse because of how easy it was to pick up its fast and simple ten-key design which required less hand motions, which meant less erroneous mistakes and more accurate calculations. It was so easy to pick up the workings of a Dalton that an advertisement exemplifies this with a single quote, “An inexperienced girl and a Dalton will replace two men who figure with pencil.”