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Purse Adding Machine

Purse Adding Machine


The Purse Adding Machine
Video
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Patents
Links


The Purse Adding Machine

The Purse Adding Machine is a tiny dial adder. Its dimensions are about 5cm by 7cm. It has 3 dials, marked Dollars, Dimes, and Cents. Each has a narrow circular slot showing 10 holes around the edge of the dial, and you can enter numbers by putting a stylus into such a hole and turning the dial clockwise until the stylus hits the end of the slot. There are three small windows to the top-right of the dials, and they each display a single digit of the register. The stylus is a piece of thick wire, and this is stored in a small hole on the right hand side of the adder.

Purse Adding Machine
Purse Adding Machine
Purse Adding Machine
Purse Adding Machine
Purse Adding Machine
Purse Adding Machine


It is completely made of metal, riveted together. The mechanism is extremely similar to the Lightning Calculator. Each dial is a gear connected to a number wheel to its top right. That number wheel also acts as an intermediate wheel for transferring the carry. One of the teeth of the dial is longer, long enough to push the number wheel of the next digit one step.

There is no maker's mark or branding anywhere, but I have seen an instagram post with an identical adder with packaging that names the company as Glamour Unlimited of Providence, Rhode Island. There is also an almost identical adder called Shop-N-Add which comes in black or as an unpainted variant, and usually has its stylus clipped to the front. It was often sold with the Shopping Index, which was a board listing groceries with little switches next to each item so that you can mark which ones you need. These were sold by Gift Craft Inc. of Providence, Rhode Island, but it is not clear what the relation is to Glamour Unlimited.

I have not found any advertisements or articles with which to precisely date the Purse Adding Machine. The Shop-N-Add was briefly popular in 1955, and it is a reasonable assumption that the Purse Adding Machine was a less successful predecessor, so it would have been sold in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Note that the Lightning Adder's patent expired in 1943.


Purse Adding Machine video

Here is a video where I demonstrate my Purse Adding Machine.




Advertisements

I have not found any advertisements for the Purse Adding Machine, but there are some ads for the Shop-N-Add and Shopping Index in the run-up to christmas 1995.

1955-10-12 Green Bay Press Gazette (Wisconsin)
1955-11-30 The Bridgeport Telegram (Connecticut)
1955-12-01 The San Francisco Examiner (California)
1955-12-04 The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania)
1955-12-12 The Kansas City Times (Missouri)
1955-12-19 St Cloud Times (Minnesota)
1955-12-19 The Winona Daily News (Minnesota)
1955-12-20 The Sedalia Democrat (Missouri)



Patents

The only relevant patent is the one for the Lightning Calculator by Russell Wallace Hook.

PatentFiling datePublish dateNameDescription
US 1,574,24917-02-192123-02-1926Russell Wallace HookLightning Calculator

Links

RetroCalculators has a Shop-N-Add with Shop Index.
Detlev Bölter has a Shop-N-Add.
Worthpoint lists a Shop-N-Add with Shop Index.


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