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1908 Burroughs Adding Machine with Beveled Glass

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Posted 4 years ago

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potrero
(155 items)

It was the beveled glass on this machine that blew me away when I first spotted it at the Alameda Antiques show. I’ve seen plenty of antique adding machines before – most notably the Comptometer, a very cool device invented by Dorr Eugene Felt. But they’re usually not that eye catching. This Burroughs thing was an amazing beast, with see-through sides so you could see all the inner workings, and a cast-iron frame and porcelain finish that just reeked of quality. Finally, the Burroughs stencil on the inside front of the glass was perfectly intact, after 101 years.

How much would they want for this amazing beast? $400? Nope… $40. Sold! About a dollar per pound. And a bargain compared to the $450 it cost in 1908, as I learned by researching it later that day on the Early Office Museum website. These Burroughs machines were the supercomputers of their day, selling by the thousands to large companies – too bad we can’t figure out how to work it!

The machine had a lot of grunge, but cleaned up nicely. The handle (which makes a great sound when you pull it) comes out, allowing you to pull off the top and clean the insides of the glass. Inside I found the date 7-16-08 etched into the metal (not 2008!). The 100 year old green felt beneath the key was a little harder to clean… but worth it. Now if we only had some green eye shade!

Comments

  1. Antonio Wetzstein, 4 years ago
    I found one of these from 1906 and have been desperately trying to find somewhere to get it cleaned up. I was wondering if you had any tips or somewhere that you could refer me to.
  2. potrero potrero, 4 years ago
    no ideas - I cleaned mine up myself.
  3. Michael, 4 years ago
    I have a Burroughs adding machine serial number 5-1332940 in working order.
    I was wondering if you knew the age and how much it would be worth and if you knew any one that would be interested in buying it.
  4. Michael, 4 years ago
    the small crank handle is beveled. The adding machine also has its own original leather case
  5. BHenry BHenry, 4 years ago
    The real dawn of computers. There isn't a kid worth his salt that wouldn't want to play with those buttons. Ok so there is still some kid in me. :)
  6. pat /jeana voller, 3 years ago
    we own a burrogh STYLE #5 VIN: R25-17899 which makes this unit pre 1903 the unit is completely operational with the total behind front glass the "R" REPRESENTS THAT THIS UNIT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST 300 REFURBISHED UNITS IN 1903 SO ACTUAL BUILT DATE IS UNKNOWN TO ME ARE POSSIBLY INTERESTED IN THIS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE PICTURES AND IF SO ITS POSSIBLE VALUE THANK YOU

    PAT 727-896-2721
  7. Daniel Benavidez, 3 years ago
    I have a Burroughs Style #3 which was given to me, it has the beveled glass. Im trying to get an idea of what its worth can you please help me
  8. Lee Sayer, 3 years ago
    Google has several great sites on the Burroughs Adders and other machines,your machine should have a serial number on a brass plate which the site will tell you what year the machine was manafactored.A good guide for pricing is eBay.
  9. Amireah Signorino , 3 years ago
    Does anyone have directions on how to use this machine?
  10. Carole Spring , 3 years ago
    My husband was employed by Burroughs in Australia & did his mechanical
    test to join the company on this machine in 1950.
  11. Mac, 3 years ago
    Hello, I bought a beautiful Buroughs adding machine on the road side for $10. It was irrisistable when I first laid eyes on it and after asking the price I was pulling out my wallet before I could say I would take it. However, I have searched online and found similar models but I can't find mine.
    If any of you know anything it would be appreciated. Im cleaning it up and putting it on a shelf but to know more of the history would make great conversation. No 7-115881, it has glass sides and front and a metal side that flips up and remains stable to use as a small writing area.

    Thanks so much in advance!

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