farm tools
American Artifacts

Reprinted from the Scientific American, 1869


We have an innate and hereditary hatred of all of the order ophidian, and we much doubted the expediency of receiving Mr. Webb’s reptile into our office, but having seen the animal and found it was no "snaik" whose head was to be crushed, but an industrious little device calculated to save head-wear, we welcomed it cordially. Its appearance is similar to the accompanying engraving, the implement, however, being larger, measuring about six and three-quarter inches long by about five inches across the widest place. The form is seen in the engraving. A large disk, A, and a small one, B, both revolving, and both graduated around the circumference and marked with figures in two concentric circles, are seated in a case and and partially covered with a metallic plate, leaving only the inner circle of figures exposed, except at a small opening between the two disks, where one set of figures, on the outer circle of each, is seen through the slot in the plate. The plate around the larger disk is marked from 0 to 99 te correspond with similar numbers on the disk’s concentric circles. The smaller disk has 50 numbers, from 0 to 50, with a corresponding segment of numbers (units) from 0 to 9 ranging from the opening in the plate or cover back around a portion of the smaller circle. The larger disk has on its under side a ratchet with a single tooth and the smaller one a ratchet of fifty teeth. A connection is made between the two by a spring pawl so that one entire revolution of the large disk will move the small one one-fiftieth of its circumference. The operation may be comprehended by the above description of the parts. The Inventor believes that it is a great aid to accountants, substituting a merely mechanical process for mental or brain labor. Certainly if his manipulation of the device, and the opinions of these who have given it a trial are to be considered, the implement should be estimated as a valuable adjunct to the means of summing up wearisome columns of figures. It may be let in flush with the surface of a desk so that the accountant, or clerk,may always have it at his elbow, working it with one hand while keeping his place in the columns of figures with the other. It is neat, handy, and presentable, but although it will add numbers rapidly, it is doubtful if it will add to a man’s fortune or to his family. With this drawback we can indorse the adder. Orders for the implement or for explanatory circulars should be addressed to the patentee, C. H. Webb, 571 Broadway, New York city.

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