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?



22 comments:

  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.

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

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  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:
    http://munk.org/typecast/2013/01/19/marchant-figuremaster-adding-machine/

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    Replies
    1. Is this an adding machine with no zeros ?

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    2. For a zero, you don't depress any key in that column.

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  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.

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  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!

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  6. There is a much lesser model out on ShopGoodwill.com right now, but it's nowhere as beautiful as this one! http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-Bonelli-Victor-Typewriter-16105251.html

    Very nice, Richard!!

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    Replies
    1. What are the odds?? There is ANOTHER one like this out on ShopGoodwill.com
      http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Roswell-Typewriter-Co-Victor-Adding-Machine-16154458.html

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    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

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

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  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.

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  9. This looks like the good old Magneto phone.

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  10. any one know how to get the crank and/or keys unstuck?

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    1. You might try removing the housing, then dipping the whole mechanism in mineral spirits, with just a small amount of gun oil dissolved in the mineral spirits.

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  11. Im new to any kind of blogging sites i stumbled across this one looking for info about a Victor adding machine I have just like this one..wondering if someone could possibly tell me how much it would be worth if i we're to sell mine? Its also in near mint condition with a carry case

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    1. Sold auctions on eBay are a good place to check. This is a common model, so there are many examples that have recently sold. They range widely, from about $15 to $275. The average is around $50.

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    2. Are there any sort of places specific to selling adding machines? Like for collectors or anything besides just ebay or Amazon?

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    3. I don't know, since this isn't a focus of my hobby. A brief search on Google and Facebook didn't turn up any adding machine collectors' associations. But if the market is anything like typewriters, eBay really is your best bet. Collectors of anything will check eBay regularly.

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  12. Ok thank you so much for taking the time out to answer me back! I figured that was the best bet but never know if you don't ask lol

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  13. Thanks for the write-up Richard. This machine is a beauty! Could you please direct me to where to buy/find information on points to calibrate for the motor? Or if you have this information or any paperwork, I'd be willing to buy it from you to get my machine up and working. I really want to start using it! Thanks, Stephanie

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    1. Hi Stephanie, I'm afraid I don't have any technical information on adjusting this machine. If you think it is gummy with old grease or oil, you can remove the external housing and dunk the machine in mineral spirits, with just a little high-quality oil dissolved into the solution (such as gun oil). Note that this model does not have a motor; there is no electricity and no spring tension, everything is powered by the hand crank.

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