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Issue No.03 - July-September (2011 vol.33)
pp: 22-31
Lars Heide , Copenhagen Business School
<p>Industrial production of office machines emerged in the 1880s and grew extensively until the Second World War. Although sales and applications of punched-card machines expanded in the interwar years, the key-set office machine industry lost dynamics and ultimately collapsed. The lack of scale and scope improvements in the development of key-set office machines was the major reason for this sharp contrast.</p>
history of computing, key-set office machines, typewriters, adding machines, multiplication machines, cash registers, punched-card machines, industrial competition, Burroughs, Felt &#x0026; Tarrant, Remington, National Cash Register Company, Herman Hollerith, IBM, Remington Rand
Lars Heide, "Scale and Scope in American Key-Set Office Machine Dynamics, 1880s–1930s", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.33, no. 3, pp. 22-31, July-September 2011, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2010.43
1. A.M. Edwards, "Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940: Population: Comparative Occupational Statistics for the United States, 1870 to 1940," US Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 113, 121.
2. M. Chatfield, A History of Accounting Thoughts, Robert F. Krieger Publishing Company, 1977, pp. 64–76; M.W. Davies, Woman's Place Is at the Typewriter: Office Work and Office Workers 1870–1930, Temple Univ. Press, 1982, pp. 9–27; J. Yates, Control through Communication. The Rise of System in American Management, John Hopkins Univ. Press, 1989, pp. 21–39, 56–63.
3. See for example, J.W. Cortada, Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created, 1865–1956, Princeton University Press, 1993; J. Yates, "Business Use of Information and Technology during the Industrial Age," A Nation Transformed by Information, A.D. Chandler, and J.W. Cortada eds., Oxford Univ. Press, 2000, pp. 107–135; P. 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, 2000, pp. 4–21; P. Aldrich Kidwell, "'Yours for Improvement'— The Adding Machines of Chicago, 1884–1930," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 23, no. 3, 2001, pp. 3–21.
4. L. Heide, , Punched-Card Systems and the Early Information Explosion, 1880–1945, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2009. See also J. Yates, Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2005.
5. A.D. Chandler, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business, Belknap Press and Harvard Univ. Press, 1977; A.D. Chandler, Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism, Harvard Univ. Press, 1990.
6. NCR, 1884–1922: The Cash Register Era, NCR, 1984, p. 15.
7. For example, see G.H. Seward, "Mechanical Aids in Factory-Office Economy," Eng. Magazine, vol. 27, 1904, p. 607.
8. G.N. Engler, "The Typewriter Industry: The Impact of a Significant Technological Innovation," doctoral dissertation, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, 1969, pp. 10–21.
9. Engler, "The Typewriter Industry," pp. 24–28, 156.
10. Chandler, The Visible Hand, pp. 307–308; Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 13–19.
11. A. Hatch, Remington Arms: An American History, Reinehart & Co., 1956, pp. 167–176; Engler, "Typewriter Industry," pp. 23–24; Chandler, The Visible Hand, pp. 308, 312–313.
12. Engler, "The Typewriter Industry," pp. 23, 156–166.
13. Cortada, Before the Computer, p. 20.
14. T. Pirker, Büro und Maschine. Zur Geschichte und Soziologie der Mechanisierung der Büroarbeit, der Maschinisierung des Büros und der Büroautomaten [Office and Machines: On the History and Sociology of the Mechanization of Office Work, the Mechanization of the Office, and Office Automation Geschichte], Mohr, 1962, p. 66. Pirker specifies additions and subtractions to constitute 80 percent of all office calculations. L. Heide, Hulkort og EDB i Danmark 1911–1970 [Punch Cards and Computers in Denmark 1911–1970], Systime, 1996, p. 20.
15. C.V. Boys, "Calculating Machines," J. Soc. of Arts, vol. 34, 1886, pp. 377–78; H. Sebert, "Rapport fait par M. Sebert, au nom du Comté det Arts Économiques, sur la machine à calcular, dit Arithmomètre inventee par M. Thomas de Bojano" [Report by Mr. Sebert, On Behalf of the County Economics of Arts on the Arithmometer Calculator Invented by Mr. Thomas Bojano], Bulletin de la Societe d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie National, 1879, pp. 393–425.
16. J. Marquis, The Metropolitan Life: A Story in Business Growth, Viking Press, 1947, p. 70.
17. D.E. Felt, Adding Machine, US patent 371,496, Patent and Trademark Office, 1887 (filed 1887); "Felt, Dorr Eugine," Nat'l Cyclopedia of Am. Biography, 1955, pp. 23–25; Kidwell, "'Yours for Improvement,'" p. 7; Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 39–40.
18. R. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," 1975, pp. 1.1–3.23, Charles Babbage Inst. (CBI), collection 90 (Company Histories), box 2, folder 2; J.S. Coleman, The Business Machine, The Newcomen Soc., 1949, pp. 7–13; Kidwell, "Adding Machine Fraternity," pp. 8–11; Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 31–32, 35.
19. W.S. Burroughs, Calculating Machine, US patent 388,116, Patent and Trademark Office, 1888 (filed 1885).
20. W.S. Burroughs, Calculating Machine, US patent 388,117, Patent and Trademark Office, 1888 (filed 1885); W.S. Burroughs, Calculating Machine, US patent 388,118, Patent and Trademark Office, 1888 (filed 1886).
21. W.S. Burroughs, Calculating Machine, US patent 388,119, Patent and Trademark Office, 1888 (filed 1887).
22. J.A.V. Turck, The Origins of Modern Calculating Machines, Arno Press, 1921, pp. 111–124; B. Morgan, Total to Date. The Evolution of the Adding Machine: The Story of Burroughs, Burroughs Adding Machine Company, 1953, p. 31; Abele, "The Burroughs Story," p. 2.10.
23. Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 32–36, 39–41; Kidwell "'Yours for Improvement,'" pp. 7–9.
24. Turck, Origins of Modern Calculating Machines, pp. 50–76, 111–143; G.C. Chase, "History of Mechanical Computing Machinery," 1952, reprinted in Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, 1980, pp. 220–223; "Remington Rand Inc.—Development and Growth," pp. 6–7, in J.T. Ferry ed., , "History of the Sperry Rand and Remington Rand Corporations, and Their Predecessors, With Emphasis on Tabulating Machine Equipment," 1964, in Hagley Museum and Library, Accession 1825 (Sperry-Rand Company Records); Kidwell, "Adding Machine Fraternity," pp. 14–15.
25. Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 164–166.
26. Turck, Origins of Modern Calculating Machines, pp. 82–89; Chase, "History of Mechanical," pp. 205–208; J. Lund, "Människorna och företagen bakom Ohdner-snurran" [The People and Companies Behind the Odhner Multiplication Machine], Polhem, vol. 4, 1986, pp. 252–263; Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 28–29; Kidwell, "Adding Machine Fraternity," pp. 6–8.
27. J. Ritty and J. Ritty, Cash Register and Indicator, US patent 221,360, Patent and Trademark Office, 1879 (filed 1879); J. Ritty, and J. Birch, Cash Register and Indicator, US patent 271,363 Patent and Trademark Office, 1883 (filed 1882); J. Ritty, Cash-Recorder, US patent 318,506 Patent and Trademark Office, 1885 (filed 1883); S. Crowther, John H. Patterson. Pioneer in Industrial Welfare, Doubleday, Page and Company, 1923, pp. 62–63; S.V. Allyn, My Half Century with NCR, McGraw-Hill, 1967, pp. 25–30.
28. F.L. Fuller, Multiple Cash-Register, US patent 1,117,179, Patent and Trademark Office, 1914 (filed 1910); F.L. Fuller, My Half Century as an Inventor, Frederick L. Fuller, 1938, pp. 27, 37; NCR, 1884–1922: The Cash Register Era, 1984, pp. 23–27.
29. Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 66–69.
30. Crowther, John H. Patterson, pp. 65–364; NCR 1884–1922, 1984, p. 4–15; Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 67–71; M. Campbell-Kelly, and W. Aspray, Computer: A History of the Information Machine, BasicBooks, 1996, pp. 41–42.
31. Heide, Punched-Card Systems, pp. 15–37, 128–137.
32. Heide, Punched-Card Systems, pp. 38–67.
33. D.E. Felt, Tabulating-Machine, US patent 628,176, Patent and Trademark Office, 1899 (filed 1898); D.E. Felt, Tabulating-Machine, US patent 644,287, Patent and Trademark Office 1900, (filed 1899); D.E. Felt, Tabulating- Machine, US patent 694,955, Patent and Trademark Office, 1902 (filed 1900); Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 36–37.
34. C.W. Gooch, Adding Machine, US patent 825,205, Patent and Trademark Office, 1906 (filed 1905); Abele, "The Burroughs Story," p. 4.6.
35. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," p. 4.23.
36. C.J. Basche et al., IBM's Early Computers, MIT Press, 1986, p. 12, provides an excellent explanation of the use of complements for subtraction.
37. H.C. Schnackel and H.G. Lang, Accounting by Machine Methods: The Design and Operation of Modern Systems, Ronald Press Company, 1929, p. 24.
38. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," pp. 5.9–5.11.
39. W. Lange, Buchungsmaschinen: Meisterwerke feinmechanischer Datenverarbeitung 1910 bis 1960 [Bookkeeping Machines: Masterpieces of Precision Mechanical Data Processing from 1910 to 1960], Oldenbourg Verlag, 1986, 63; Kidwell, "Adding Machine Fraternity, pp. 15–16.
40. L. Couffignal, Les Machines à Calculer, leur Principes, leur Évolution [Calculating Machines, Their Principles and Evolution], Gauthier-Villars, 1933, p. 63.
41. Allyn, My Half Century, pp. 54–55.
42. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," p. 7.41.
43. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," pp. 7.10–7.18, 8.11.
44. Marketed as NCR Class 3000. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," p. 7.41.
45. Engler, "The Typewriter Industry," p. 129.
46. J.B. Rae ed., Henry Ford, Prentice Hall, 1969, p. 91.
47. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," pp. 7.21, 7.29–7.31, 7.33–7.34, 8.6–8.7.
48. Abele, "The Burroughs Story," pp. 8.22, 8.28.
49. IBM Executive and Finance Committee Meetings Minutes, 12 Jun. 1925 and 26 Jun. 1928, IBM Archives; G.F. Daly, "Background of Development of IBM Small Accounting Machines, 1953–1954," box TAR 121, IBM Archives; A.E. Gray, "IBM Development Manual," Book 1: Numerical Tabulators, typescript 1956, p. 38, box A-25-2, IBM Archives.
50. Cortada, Before the Computer, p. 34.
51. Undated balance sheet in folder 9, box 10, Hollerith Papers, Library of Congress.
52. Cortada, Before the Computer, pp. 34–35.
53. Figure data from the following sources. Burroughs: Annual Reports, 1923–1969, CBI, collection 90, box 1, folders 1–18. IBM: figures in folder 7, box 10, Hollerith Papers, Library of Congress, and E.W. Pugh, Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology, MIT Press, 1995, p. 23. NCR: Cortada, Before the Computer, p. 180. The Remington Rand figures cover the year ending the next March. For 1927/1928 and 1933/1934, Remington Rand, Directors Meeting, 23 Mar. 1937, Hagley Museum and Library, vol. 5, box 15, Accession 1910. For 1934/1935 and 1936, Remington Rand, "Annual Report for the Year Ending March… 1936–1941," Hagley Museum and Library, vols. 5–6, box 15, vol. 7, box 16, Accession 1910.
54. L. Heide, "Facilitating and Restricting a Challenger: Patents and Standards in the Development of the Bull-Knutsen Punched Card System, 1919–1938," Business History, vol. 51, no. 1, 2009, p. 36.
55. Cortada, Before the Computer, p. 203.
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