new stuff

From: Brian L. Stuart <>
Date: Wed Jun 11 12:49:16 1997

In message <>, dastar_at_crl
.com writes:
>On Wed, 11 Jun 1997, Brian L. Stuart wrote:
>> >Cool but definitely not
>> >as cool as the Burroughs adding machine! I have no idea what year this
>> >thing is from, but it's case is made of a steel frame with glass sides so
>> >you can see the mechanisms inside. I don't know how much it's worth, but
>> Is this the one that has a row of digits for output at the bootom of the
>> front glass panel and a printing mechanism in back. If so, I've got one
>Yes, it does. It has a typewriter-like carriage on the back with a paper
>tape roll. It also has a display on the front that can go up to 999,999.99.

Yep, that sure sounds like it.

>> of those too. It had been the adding machine my grandfather used when
>> he founded the family business (a cotton gin). Some years ago, I found
>> it lying out in a pile of scrap metal. Even then (I was probably in
>> high school or college then) I guess I had a collector's instinct. Ok,
>> that really means that I'm a packrat and cheapskate. Unfortunately on
>> mine the carriage mechanism for the printing is rusted solid. But I
>> do have plans to someday restore it. It'll be one of may favorite
>> pieces in my museum (again someday).
>Mine sort-of works. I can only press down a digit in the
>hundred-thousands column though, and a few other buttons work. I can't
>shift it from add to subtract mode. Any idea what year these things are

It's been a while since I tried it, but I seem to remember that mine
works except for the carriage. But it's at my parent's house right
now so I can't refresh my memory regarding operation.

As to date, I'm not really sure. Granddad started the gin in 1949
and I'm pretty sure he told me that he used it when he started it.
I've seen a sketch of the original Burroughs machine introduced in
1887 and it looks significantly more primitive. For no particularly
good reason, the 1920s has always stuck in my head for it. That tends
to be very vaguely supported by a picture in Stan Augarten's book.
It's an advertising photo showing a secretary carrying a portable
Burroughs machine in about 1922 and some of the features (shape of
buttons, shape of cutouts for the digits, etc) seem to be at least
similar. I'd believe just about anything in the '20-'40s.

Brian L. Stuart
Math/CS Dept, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
Received on Wed Jun 11 1997 - 12:49:16 BST

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