Friday, April 11, 2014

My Victor adding machine

This is one of the most beautiful machines I picked up in Greensburg, Indiana recently. I already had a '60s Victor adder I'd found at the thrift store (my daughter and I had lots of fun playing store with it years ago), but I had been coveting a Deco version like this.

It's gorgeous from every angle.

The top of the machine makes me think of a temple, or a fabulous "Metropolis"-style skyscraper top.

For those who may not be familiar with operating such a machine, here are the basic instructions. This model is designed to add numbers with two decimal places up to 9999.99 (which is usually all that an individual or small business would need when dealing with money). You input numbers by pushing down the appropriate key in each column; for a zero, don't press any key at all. Then pull down the crank to enter the number into the machine's mechanical memory and print it on the paper.

When you're ready to add all the numbers, pull down the "T" switch to the right of the VICTOR logo, and pull the crank. The total is printed (with "T" next to it) and the machine is reset to zero.

You may also want to see a subtotal, which does not zero out the machine. For that, you push the same switch upwards and pull the crank, which will print a subtotal with an "S" next to it.

The switch to the left of the VICTOR logo is pushed up for subtraction, and pushed down for repeat addition. There is no direct multiplication function, but if you wanted to multiply 34 x 21 you could push down the repeat switch, enter 31, and pull the crank 21 times.

Here's the printout for the following calculation:

34.22 + 1001.88 - 87.03 = subtotal 949.07
+ 8888.55 = total 9837.62

Meanwhile, in other news, this is probably the sorriest typewriter ever donated to WordPlay.
Anyone need parts from a 1941 Woodstock?


  1. Stunning! That is one awesome find, I must say. Coincidentally, I also recently acquired an adding machine and I am clueless how to operate it. The info you posted could be useful.

  2. I've always been fond of the word "comptometer."

  3. Dangit, you are inciting lust in my heart for a new machine. You are the Devil! :D

    At least my list only includes two of them now, and I'm happy that you finally fulfilled the desire expressed in these comments:

  4. I might need parts! It looks much like the one I purchased yesterday but I've not had a chance to really check out my machine.

  5. I have the Champion model very much like that in both the columnar format and the 10-digit keypad format. We had one of the latter when I was growing up, and seeing them popping up on eBay sent me searching. Mine are the basic black with white faceplates, not nearly as gorgeous as yours. Beautiful one you have there!

  6. There is a much lesser model out on right now, but it's nowhere as beautiful as this one!

    Very nice, Richard!!

    1. What are the odds?? There is ANOTHER one like this out on

    2. Damn! This old saying that "your heart won't miss things your eyes didn't see" is so true... (and applies not only to people's relationships ;) ). Well - after such advertising campaign I expect the price to go to triple figures :D

  7. A beautiful display piece - Imagine what the matching typewriter looks like!

  8. I've got a few adding machines myself - a sort of sub collection. The Victor is very cool, and the bakelite in great shape. Great find!
    I'm sort of enjoying collecting all sorts of "office" collectables, as I'm sure many of us do.

  9. This looks like the good old Magneto phone.