A machine that really adds up

8/21/1888

This drawing by William Seward Burroughs is from his first patent application for a calculating machine—an important step toward the modern computer. A sometime clerk, box maker, and mechanic, Burroughs resolved to invent a machine that could add automatically and print the result. He was issued the patent on August 21, 1888.

National Archives, Records of the Patent and Trademark Office


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