Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Multimedia Gallery

You are here: Census.govNewsroomMultimedia GalleryAudioProfile America › Summing Up
Skip top of page navigation

Summing Up

October 17, 2014

You may Listen or download this story in .mp3 format or as a .wav file.

Profile America — Friday, October 17th. One of the foundations of modern business and science-- the accessibility of accurate calculations -- was reinforced this month in 1887 when a patent was granted to Dorr Eugene Felt for the first adding machine known to be absolutely accurate at all times. Felt called his machine the "comptometer," and some models were still in use a half-century later. The comptometer had the mechanical calculator market to itself until 1902. Adding machines -- soon joined by punch cards -- remained the core of numbers management for more than 60 years until replaced by calculators and computers. Today in the U.S., supplying offices with equipment such as adding machines is the pursuit of some 5,400 office equipment merchant wholesalers. You can find current data on the country's economy by downloading the 'America's Economy' mobile application at http://www.census.gov/mobile.

Sources:
Kane's Famous First Facts, 2377
The "Comptometer"
The inventor
Chronology of adding machines
2007 Economic Census data on office equipment wholesalers NAICS 4234


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: October 01, 2014