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Burroughs Adding Machine

Burroughs Adding Machine Company
William Seward Burroughs
introduced 1905
A former bank clerk, William Seward Burroughs (1870-1904),invented the first Burroughs adding machine in the late 1880’s but it wasn’t until 1892 that the American Arithmometer, Co. out of Detroit, Michigan was renamed the Burroughs Adding Machine Company and the first Burroughs adding machine manufactured and sold.

This particular Burroughs adding and listing machine is a Model 1 Style 9 and was introduced in 1905. It was a successful high precision machine in the early 1900’s as it was one of the first practical recording-adding machines (introduced just after the D.E. Felt adding machine in 1889). This model has a full-keyboard with nine columns of black and white color-coded keys and a line of red buttons at the top of each column for clearing the entries. To the left of the number keys are non-add, subtotal, and total keys and to the right are the repeat and error keys. The machine was manually operated by cranking the metal handle on the right side of the machine.

This adding machine was particularly successful because of its wide carriage and printing mechanism. The printing mechanism was much like a typewriter through type sectors, printing-hammers, and trigger-lates, pressing on an ink-ribbon to the paper, which operated from the rear. A roll of paper or a single sheet would be inserted through a mount outside of the machine to print out the full math problem and total for records. Burroughs Adding Machines were fashionably characterized by having glass panels in the sides of its black metal cases so the mechanism could be seen.