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Issue No.02 - April-June (2000 vol.22)
pp: 4-21
<p>Between 1880 and 1920, several inventors in St. Louis, Missouri, made pioneering contributions to the development of commercial adding machines. Inventions of Frank S. Baldwin, William S. Burroughs, the brothers William W. and Hubert H. Hopkins, and their associates did much to make mechanical arithmetic commonplace in U.S. business.</p>
Peggy Aldrich Kidwell, "The Adding Machine Fraternity at St. Louis: Creating a Center of Invention, 1880-1920", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.22, no. 2, pp. 4-21, April-June 2000, doi:10.1109/85.841133
1. S. Lubar, Infoculture: The Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions.Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
2. F.A.P. Barnard, "Machinery and Processes of the Industrial Arts and Apparatus of the Exact Sciences," W.P. Blake, ed., Reports of the United States Commissioners to the Paris Universal Exposition, vol. 3. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1869, p. 629.
3. "The Arithmograph," Typewriter Trade J. and the Office System, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 15, July 1904.
4. Adding machines with roots in St. Louis that were manufactured elsewhere included the Burroughs (made from 1904 in Detroit); the Dalton (produced first in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and then in Norwood, Ohio); and the Pike, the Monroe, and the Ellis (all made in New Jersey).
5. Office Men's Record, vol. 4, Jan.-Mar. 1891. This volume is at the Chicago Historical Society in Chicago. The history of Landin Computer and Rapid Computer companies remain obscure. As yet, I know of no surviving examples that are marked as produced by the Landin Computer Company. Serial number 4566 (in private hands) is marked as a product of the Rapid Computer Company of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Serial number 4948 (in the collections of the Instituts für Mathematik und Informatik, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität [Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, University Ernst Moritz Arndt], Greifswald, Germany), is marked as a product of the Rapid Computer Adding Machine Company of Benton Harbor. Serial number 5817 (in the collections of the Arithmeum in Bonn) is marked as a product of the Rapid Computer Company of Chicago. This company advertised inScientific Americanfrom 1909 through 1911, offering the Rapid Computer for a price of $25 (see, for example,Scientific American,20 May 1911, vol. 104, p. 514). Apparently the company soon abandoned its Chicago headquarters, as serial number #6173 (in the collections of the Science Museum in London) is marked as a product of The Rapid Computer Company and of Baker-Vawter Company, both of Benton Harbor. I thank Dale Beeks, Warner Girbardt, Kevin Johnson, and Bernhard Korte for this information. A German version of the machine, called the Comptator, sold from 1909. See Ernst MartinThe Calculating Machines[Die Rechenmachinen], translated by P.A. Kidwell and M.R. Williams, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1992, p. 118 and pp. 216-218.
6. In the first half of the 19th century, the Frenchman Didier Roth introduced a small adding machine with several adjacent disks that sold in some numbers. The American Charles Henry Webb introduced in 1858 a two-wheeled adding machine that could be used to add numbers up to 999 that also found buyers.
7. On the expansion in manufacturing in St. Louis and other Midwestern states in the years following the American Civil War, see J.C. Teaford, Cities of the Heartland: The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Midwest.Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1993. For an account of the response to these changes, see D. Thelen,Paths of Resistance: Tradition and Dignity in Industrializing Missouri. Oxford, England: Oxford Univ. Press, 1986.
8. These comments are based primarily on scanning the St. LouisGlobe-Democratfor the year 1890. Announcements of new patents appeared on Wednesdays in theGlobe-Democratand on Saturdays in theGlobe-Dispatch. I did not find such listings in another local newspaper, the St. LouisRepublic.
9. For biographical information about Baldwin, see: Monroe Calculating Machine Company, "A Personal Story of Interest to Business Men and Accountants," 1926; "Frank Stephen Baldwin Passes Away in His 87th Year,"Typewriter Topics, vol. 60, p. 36, May 1925; "Frank Stephen Baldwin,"Nat'l Cyclopedia of Amer. Biography, vol. 16, p. 281-282, 1918; and L.L. Locke, "Frank Stephen Baldwin,"Dictionary of Amer. Biography, vol. 1, p. 533, 1928. Further information is available from city directories of St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Newark, New Jersey.
10. U.S. Patent #138310, 29 April 1873. On Baldwin's lumber measure, see T.A. Russo, Sr. and C. Schure, "The Calculating Engines of Frank S. Baldwin," Rittenhouse, vol. 11, pp. 93-96, 1994.
11. U.C. Merzbach, Georg Scheutz and the First Printing Calculator.Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977.
12. Papers of the Committee on Science and the Arts, #897, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pa. These documents include Baldwin's application for examination of his inventions, related correspondence, and the report of the committee assigned to study the machines.
13. U.S. Patent #254450, 7 March 1882. On Patent Office models generally, see B.S. Jansenn, Icons of Invention: American Patent Models.Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1990.
14. The earliest source for accounts of Burroughs's life seems to be an article, "A Wonderful Invention," published in the St. LouisGlobe-Democrat, Dec. 22 1889, p. 28. There was an obituary notice of Burroughs in the St. LouisGlobe-Democrat, 18 Sept. 1898 and an article, "William Seward Burroughs," inThe Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis, vol. 1. New York, Louisville, St. Louis: Southern History Company, 1899, pp. 283-284. This article indicates that Burroughs began earning his own living at the age of 15, was "employed successively in a bank, stores and lumber-yards, and in his young manhood engaged in one or two small enterprises." It also states that he came to St. Louis in 1881. Later accounts apparently rest heavily on J.W. Speare, "Development of Mechanical Accounting,"The Burroughs, vols. 2-3, 1908-1909. These articles also were published in somewhat abbreviated form in Burroughs Adding Machine Company,A Better Day's Work at a Less Cost of Time, Work, and Worry to the Man at the Desk, Detroit, 1910 (this was the fourth edition of the small book. It went through two editions in 1908 and a third in 1909). According to Speare, Burroughs worked at a bank in Auburn, New York. The article, "William Seward Burroughs,"Nat'l Cyclopaedia of Amer. Biography, vol. 27. pp. 383-384, states that this was the Cayuga County National Bank. S.B. Johnson repeats this account in "William Seward Burroughs,"Amer. Nat'l Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford Univ. Press, vol. 4, pp. 52-53, 1999. In C.O. Paulin, "William Seward Burroughs,"Dictionary of Amer. Biography, vol. 21 (supplement 1), pp. 138-139, 1942, Burroughs's career in Auburn is described more generally, followingThe Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis. The Auburn city directories confirm that Burroughs worked at a variety of enterprises, but make no mention of any association he had with a bank. I thank Stephanie E. Przybylek of The Cayuga Museum for checking the Auburn directories for 1874-1875, 1875-1876, 1876-1877 (Burroughs was not listed that year),1877-1878, 1878-1879, 1879-1880, 1881-1882 (Burroughs was not listed), and 1882. These sources agree that Burroughs was born on 28 January (if any date is mentioned), but disagree about the year. The obituary gives the year 1851. TheSt. Louis Encyclopediaand theDictionary of American Biographygive 1855. Speare and theNational Cyclopaedia of American Biographygive 1857. Johnson favors 1857.
15. William S. Burroughs to the Franklin Institute, Sept.23 1897, #1907, Papers of the Committee on Science and the Arts of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
16. J.S. McCoy to D.E. Felt, April22 1927. There is a copy of this letter in the National Museum of American History's Mathematics Documentation Collection.
17. "A Wonderful Invention,"St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Dec.22 1889, p. 28.
18. The article from theGlobe-Democratwas republished in the ChicagoTribuneon 29 Dec. 1889 under the title, "Addition by Machine: A Clever Contrivance for the Relief of Busy Business." Apparently Felt took this occasion to draw attention to his own work, for on 12 Jan. 1890, theTribunepublished an article entitled, "The Census by Machine" that described Felt's Comptometer, Comptograph, and proposed Census tabulating machine.
19. Here the reference may be to Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930), who would go on to be Prime Minister of England. However, Balfour was Secretary for Scotland from 1886 and then Chief Secretary for Ireland, not Home Secretary.
20. Papers of the Committee on Science and the Arts of the Franklin Institute, #1907, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
21. "Heber C. Peters, Designer of Adding Machines," New York Times, April8 1953. On the Peters adding machine, see E. Martin,The Calculating Machines, pp. 325-326 and J.H. McCarthy,American Digest of Business Machines, 1924, pp. 50, 52. On the later history of the Peters-Morse, see a timeline of Adding Machines, Legal: Anti-Trust (Folder 2), Burroughs Legal: Miscellaneous, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I thank all the staff of the institute, especially Kevin Corbitt, for their assistance.
22. "History of the Ellis Adding-Typewriter Company," NCR News, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 1-2, Mar. 1929.
23. "Development of Mechanical Accounting," Burroughs, 1909, p. 294. This article attributes the 22 Dec. 1889 interview with Burroughs in the St. LouisGlobe-Democratto 1890.
24. Catalog of Former Students not Alumni of Butler College 1855-1900.Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, no date, p. 22. Erin Davis of Butler University graciously supplied this reference.
25. For biographical information about Hopkins, see "William W. Hopkins," Christian Evangelist, vol. 37, pp. 1,352-1,353, 1900 (as well as portrait on cover) and "W.W. Hopkins,"Christian Evangelist, 1916, pp. 1,645-1,646. I thank Elaine Philpott of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society for these references. Further information has been gleaned from patents, U.S. Census records, and city directories.
26. For a brief discussion of Pullman Company, see P. Scranton, Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization 1865-1925.Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, pp. 166-170, 1997.
27. For a general account of the history of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and its 19-century origins, see W.E. Tucker and L.G. McAllister, Journey in Faith: A History of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).St. Louis, Mo.: Bethany Press, 1975. On Hopkins andThe Christian-Evangelist, see p. 289.
28. On the early history of the Standard Adding Machine Company, see Fowler and Fowler, in the U.S. Patent Office. Interferences Nos. 20,133 and 20,134.Hoch v. Hopkins, Hopkins v. Hoch. Adding and Recording Machine. Hopkins' Record, Oct. 1900, Interference Case #20133, Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, RG241, National Archives, College Park, Md.
29. Louisiana Purchase Exposition,Official Catalogue of Exhibitors. Universal Exposition St. Louis, U.S.A., 1904. Department C, Liberal Arts, rev. ed., St. Louis, 1904, pp. 22-24. Joseph Boyer to H. Wood, 28 Oct. 1904, Boyer Correspondence, Box 1, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. Louisiana Purchase Exposition,Awards to Exhibitors and Collaborators at the Universal Exposition 1904, St. Louis, 1904, pp. 144-145. I thank Mary Beth Brestel of the Science and Technology Department, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio, for this information.
30. "The Standard Adding Machine: A Modern Life Preserver," Typewriter Trade J. and the Office System, vol. 1, no. 5, p. 15, Oct. 1904.
31. Standard Adding Machine Company, "Standard Appreciation," St. Louis, Missouri, no date, Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Users of the Standard included Home National Bank of Hopkins's hometown of Thorntown, Indiana, but there is no mention of the Mechanics' Bank of St. Louis. The testimonials mention a machine with serial number 168 sold 28 Apr. 1900, #2464 sold November 1904, and #3401 sold Jan. 1905. Of course, Standard need not have numbered its machines consecutively.
32. Standard Adding Machine Company, "Standard Adding Machine," St. Louis, Missouri, no date, Business Machines, Box 1, Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, National Museum of American History. There is also an ad for the Standard Adding Machine Model E fromSystem, Aug. 1907 in this box.
33. New Standard Adding Machine Company, "The Standard Visible Adding and Listing Machine," St. Louis, no date, Business Machines, Box 1, Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, National Museum of American History. This brochure notes that the Standard has been produced for 15 years, hence the date assigned.
34. J.H. McCarthy, The American Digest of Business Machines. Chicago: American Exchange Service, 1924, p. 540.
35. Deposition of John D. Rippey, 11 Apr. 1904 and deposition of James L. Dalton, 20 Apr. 1904, Patent Application File #1039130, Patent Application Files, Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, Record Group 241, National Archives, College Park, Maryland. For biographical information about James L. Dalton, see H.L. Conrad ed., "James L. Dalton," Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri, 1901. This is available on microfiche in the American Biographical Index.
36. Joseph Boyer to Edward Rector4 Mar. 1903, Boyer Correspondence, Box 1, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute.
37. U.S.A. v. Burroughs Adding Machine Company et al., Petition in Equity No. 4, District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. Judgment was delivered in this case 5 Apr. 1915. The statements about Addograph Manufacturing Company are on pp. 12-13 of the petition. As a result of the petition, Burroughs was required to distribute copies of thePetition, Answers and Decreeto all those selling its adding machines. I have consulted a copy of the document in the series "Burroughs—Company History," Box 3, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute.
38. Ibid.
39. On the opening of the new factory, see C.V. Prentice, "Dalton Adding Machine Company Opens New Plant," Inland Stationer, vol. 6, no. 4, p. 278, Mar. 1911.
40. The address of the Dalton Adding Machine company is given as Ohio in theInland Stationer, vol. 13, no. 3, p. 326, Aug. 1914; and inThomas's Register of American Manufacturers. New York: Thomas Publishing Company, 1914, column 3,468. A biographical article, "James L. Dalton,"Typewriter Topics, vol. 61, pp. 20 and 22, Nov. 1925, gives 1910 as the date of the move, but this is contradicted by contemporary references.
41. McCarthy, American Digest of Business Machines, pp. 38-42 and 472-473, 1924.
42. Typewriter Topics, vol. 65, pp. 22-23, Mar. 1927 and vol. 65, p. 52, Apr. 1927.
43. Business Equipment Topics, vol. 82, pp. 26-27, Sept. 1932.
44. American Office Machines Research Service, vol. 3, section 3.2, pp. 3-4, 1937.
45. "Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine Company," Burroughs—General Subject Files, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. This typed statement cites as indication of the financial status of the company the balance sheet for 1 Feb. 1911, which leads me to date it to early 1911. The date 1907 for the incorporation of the company is given here. The date 1906 appears in a typed chronology of Burroughs Adding Machine Company in "Various Histories, 1886-1986," Histories of Burroughs, Box 3, Folder 8, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. An account of the Moon-Hopkins appeared in the Inland Stationer, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 134-135, Jan. 1911.
46. "The Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine," Early Office Machines, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. The date 1907 is stamped on the cover of the brochure as the date it was received. There also are later brochures on the Moon-Hopkins machine in this file.
47. "Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine Company," Burroughs—General Subject Files, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. Some examples of orders for Moon-Hopkins machines from the period 1913-1921 are in this collection in the section on Early Office Machines.
48. "Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine," Inland Stationer, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 134-135, Jan. 1911.
49. "The Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine," Moon-Hopkins Billing Machine Co. Catalog E, Early Office Machines, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. This catalog dates from after Moon-Hopkins moved to O'Fallon Street in 1912 and after it sold a machine to Mutual Life Insurance Company in New York in 1913.
50. Machine 549 was ordered 28 Feb. 1913, machine 764 on 18 Feb. 1914, and machine 768 on 11 Mar. 1914. Machine 3226 was ordered in June 1921. Early Office Machines, Burroughs Collection, Charles Babbage Institute. In a letter to Louis J. Julian dated 15 Feb. 1919, F.R. Cornwall, who had served as a lawyer for Moon-Hopkins, indicated that "several thousands" of Moon-Hopkins machines had been manufactured. He said that the first machine was sold in 1908. This letter is in the records of U.S. District Court—Detroit, Equity Records, Equity Case Files, 1912-1913, Case #4, 1 FRC,U.S.A. v. Burroughs Adding Machine Company, RG21, National Archives and Records Administration—Great Lakes Region, Chicago.
51. F.R. Cornwall to Louis J. Julian, 15 Feb. 1919 (for the full citation, see above).
52. Arthur J. Tuttle, Order in United States v. Burroughs Adding Machine Company et al., U.S. District Court—Detroit, Equity Records, Equity Case Files, 1912-1913, Case #4, 1 FRC,U.S.A. v. Burroughs Adding Machine Company, RG21, National Archives and Records Administration—Great Lakes Region, Chicago.
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