Comptometer - The Cases
( Important note )

It is with great sadness that on Agust 22, 2007, I found it necessary to close off any further postings here. There has always been a certain amount of offensive and/or obscene 'graffit-e' requiring periodic culling, a burdensome and time-consuming task. And, since early 2004, a huge increase in trival (albeit well-meaning) posts have added considerable clutter. Now web-crawlers seem to be at work, sniffing out postable pages and leaving promotional messages with irrelavant links. This has just become too much trouble to monitor and maintain.

For those who have a need to contact me, there is always eMail and I would strongly suggest you include the word "Comptometer" in the subject line to insure getting past the spam filters.

Shoebox Comptometers - The Cases

In mid-1903, Felt was issued patent #733,379 on a "Casing for Key-Operated Machines". Claims for this design were dominated by terms such as "lining of linoleum","sound-deadening", "columnar joint" as well as "glass plate". Claim 11, however, spoke specifically to the manner in which keystems entered the case thru the (top) keyplate and would thereby operate the inside mechanism. As obvious as all this might seem today, at that time, it proved to be "state of the art" and clearly superior to anything then available.

This patent would play the decisive role in a famous lawsuit with the Burroughs Corporation some ten years hense. Of considerably greater interest to collectors, however, is the finish applied to these steel-cased Comptometers over their lifespan of some forty years.

Unlike the intricately designed inards of the Comptometer, the finish applied to the cases seems to have varied considerably over time. Advances in metallurgy and finishing technique could have been put into production without waiting for a model change. And if that weren't enuf, refurbishing, repair and retrofitting which took place after machines were in the field for decades often resulted in case refinishing that may have masked any original condition or intent.

Its clear that the subject will prove to be one of continuing controversy. Accordingly, rather than attempting to resolve the matter, this forum has been established to allow for a continuing dialogue among those who have something to add on the subject for the enlightenment of those of us who "haven't a clue".

Thu Oct 7 22:09:38 1999
Name: jobbee
Commentary: Hello. I just happened to be surfin' around when I came across you. By chance, I happen to have a 'comptometer' like Class 5 Burrough adding machine. It does look similar to the picture you've attached on the site but has three number key columns arranged differently. Would you by chance know how many types of Class 5 Burrough adding machines were manufactured? And what year would it likely be? I would appreaciate it if you could give me some coaching on the user representation and operation of these keys. Do you have a prototype user manual? I see that the number stamped at the bottom is 239692 with an embossed set of numbers inside the base plate 18065 A STY.9 Looking forward to your assistance.... Best regards and more power to you! Yours sincerely, Jobbee

Date: Wed Jan 19 19:46:26 2000

Date: Wed May 10 17:21:54 2000
Name: Alex Kinmond
Commentary: I started working for Comptometer (Felt & Tarrant) in Toronto,Canada on August 1937 and remained with company until 1973 although it was merged with Victor Adding Machine Company in 1962 at a time when key driven calculators were gradually being replaced. Since I started in the Company as a servicemen later to become a salesman, branch manager and then Canadian sales manager,I have a fairly good know- ledge of the Comptometer. If I could be of any assistance on the subject please let me know.

Date: Mon Jun 19 13:43:37 2000
Name: andy
Commentary: I would like to make a nice present. How much would a comptometer, for example a super totalizer, cost?

Date: Mon Jul 10 10:18:48 2000
Name: David C. Baker
Commentary: This weekend I bought an antique oak desk with a neat little cavity that is revealed by folding up a portion of the top. Underneath is a sliding drawer that comes up and sit on the top. A brass tag inside says, "Shick Johnson and Co., Chicago, Arrow Desk for the Comptometer." Apparently this was manufactured to hide away a 'comptometer' and provide access for use on the desktop. Neat. David C. Baker Knoxville, TN

Date: Fri Mar 22 23:51:26 2002
Name: dave a w
Commentary: i found a felt&tarrant comptometer w/ black tin cover.mahogany case/last pat. date sep.22,96/serial #2214/one button missing/mechanics work great/in very good condition.need info. thankyou.p.s. iheard only 60 are known ? 3,23,2002 i will look for response.

Date: Tue Apr 8 08:22:24 2003
Name: Vagabondo
Commentary: dave a w... <p>please contact me at (see above)

Date: Thu May 8 14:13:32 2003
Name: dave a w
Commentary: responding to vagabondo

Date: Sat Jul 26 18:21:29 2003
Name: Jose
Commentary: We have a Victor adding machine, and we will like to know what year was it made and if it has any value. the number in the battom is 431248 and it also has the nimbers 6-6-0 in it to. please respond

Date: Sat Jul 26 18:26:50 2003
Name: Jose
Commentary: We have a Victor adding machine, and we will like to know what year was it made and if it has any value. the number in the bottom is 431248 and it also has the nimbers 6-6-0 in it to. please respond

Date: Tue Aug 19 18:04:04 2003
Name: Florence
Commentary: I have a working comptometer which I purchased used in 1960. It is made by Burroughs, is manual and has the model number of A512249. I am curious of what year it might be and any value it might have. Thanks.

Date: Tue Aug 19 21:50:20 2003
Name: lisa
Commentary: your site is very interesting!! I have received a victor adding machine with the number 251833 stamped on it. It is in excellent condition. it kinda looks like the model 210 on your site. It is not electric, but it does do subtraction. I have serched and searched the web and cannot find it only ones that are simular. If you can give any information on it or how I can search the serial number, I would be most grateful ~lisa

Date: Tue Sep 30 13:00:46 2003
Name: p mott
Commentary: i have a comptometer model 509/f/50.613 made by london computator limited.could you possibly tell me the year of manufacture and its value if any.i thank you very much. p mott

Date: Sun Oct 5 04:54:52 2003
Name: Jewel
Commentary: I Have a Allen wales model? 9-114120 maybe a cerial #? not sure what I have here, any suggestions would be great.

Date: Sun Oct 5 04:58:35 2003
Name: Jewel
Commentary: Adding my e mail address

Date: Sat Oct 18 06:36:16 2003
Name: victor adding machine
Commentary: Hello, I have a victor adding machine. Serie:2418-609 Model:78354 Can someone tell me something about it ? Thank you.

Date: Mon Oct 20 21:04:41 2003
Name: Bonnie Felt
Commentary: E-Bay has a H model #234537 with operating manual for $125. Is that a good price. They say in mint condition and operating. Please let me know if that is a good price. Dorr Felt is a relative, probably my husband's 3rd or 4th cousin.

Date: Fri Nov 7 17:56:41 2003
Name: jeremy
Commentary: i found a comptometer at an old house we bought and are remodeling it been doing research on it but just cant figure what model or how much it is the model no is 200870 it has 12 rows of numbers with white and green keys still has the instruction booklet with it any help will be appreciated thanks alot

Date: Wed Apr 28 11:47:59 2004
Name: Errio
Commentary: Hi, Some days ago I bought a Comptometer F&T. As far as I can discover from this (very good) site, it's a C-model with SN42309 (10 colums) Very good general condition, and complete. The problem is that the two colums from the right side are not correctly working, i.e. the second number from the right side is not going from 9 to 0. Hence the total range can not be set to zero. The other colums work good and smooth. Shall I open it in order to try a repair, or does a specialist advice me to keep it as it is? Many thank's, Errio (modest collector of Odhner-machines)

Date: Sat Jun 12 16:16:34 2004
Name: Regina Schultz
Commentary: I have an "M" series comptometer #514151. It was used for payroll purposes in the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railray Company. My mother bought it from the company after they didn't use them anymore. It is pretty clean and had all of its keys. It is fully functioning. Can you give me a value? I might be interested in selling it. Thank You

Date: Sun Jan 23 07:21:01 2005
Name: juan l gonzalez
Commentary: i have 1 comtometer how much you give me is in steel email me thank.

Date: Mon Dec 26 03:03:02 2005
Name: Rio
Commentary: I'm from Italy and I got a CoptometeR 50P102 from Felt & Tarrant MFG. CO. Algonquin, Illinois. It could record sounds on recording belts but i would like to know more. Thanks for helping me in advance.

Date: Tue Apr 18 12:23:11 2006
Name: hi
Commentary: what is a macaroni box used for on a comptometer?

Date: Sun Jun 25 11:02:16 2006
Name: mark hoffman
Commentary: I was at an auction in crosby texas and i bid and purchased a comptometer, manufactured by the Felt &tarrant Mfg.Co. Chicogo,Illinois with several PatD numbers on it.I gather that it was manufatured in 1912,its in excellent shape and all the button's are there and it is in very fine mechanically working order.Can anybody tell me if the comptometer is of any value?

Date: Sun Jul 2 16:56:34 2006
Name: mauro
Commentary: tengo una maquina:SBE-Nr. 497: Mechanische Vierspezies-Rechenmaschine Comptometer (siehe auch SBE-Nr. 398) - sie wurde Anfang des letzten Jahrhunderts bei der Firma Stüssgen in Köln benutzt . y la quiero vender . que me ofrecen???

Date: Thu Sep 14 08:00:27 2006
Name: RUX
Commentary: i have a felt & tarrant comptometer but looking at your pictures i don't see one that looks like mine. it looks like the m model except it does not have the last row of keys. I have 3 rows white,3 rows green and the only 2 rows of white-72 keys altogether. I would like to know the modle and if possible the age? If any one could help me i would be very greatful/ thanks, rux

Date: Fri Nov 17 10:36:02 2006
Name: LT
Commentary: I have a Old Victor adding machine it looks to be an model 210 serial number 148944 in excellent condition. Can you tell me anything about it or how I can find it's value? Thanks LT