Charles Weiss

Starting from 1881, Charles Kruse of New York was the president of several companies like Kruse Check and Adding Machine Company, Kruse Manufacturing Company, Kruse Cash Register Company, etc. The companies of Kruse made sewing machine parts, gas and steam engine parts, cash registers, adding machines, and typewriters.

The single-column electric adding machine of Charles Weiss
The single-column electric adding machine of Charles Weiss

Kruse was not an inventor himself but used to order machines for external engineers. In the middle 1880s, he ordered the design of an electrical calculating machine to the inventor Carl (Charles) W. Weiss of Brooklyn, New York. On 31 August 1886, Weiss received a patent (U.S. patent No. 348437) for an Electro Magnetic Adding Machine, assigned to the Kruse Check & Adding Machine Company. In fact, Charles Weiss was a holder of quite a few patents from the 1880s and 1890s, not only for calculating devices and cash registers but also for other machines, many of them assigned namely to Kruse, let’s mention only: sewing machines (US pat. Nr.Nr. 290952 from 1882, 403163 from 1888, 442083 from 1890), electric gas lighters (US pat. Nr.Nr. 310002 from 1884, 314088 from 1885), electric registering apparatus (US pat. Nr. 321069 from 1885), drinking vessel (US pat. Nr. 278205 from 1883), atmospheric engine (US pat. Nr. 351081 from 1886), photographic passenger recorder (US pat. Nr. 283174 from 1883), adding device for check machines (US pat. Nr. 329421 from 1885), etc.

Besides the patent, we don’t have any information about the single-column adding machine of Weiss. There was no marketing campaign nor any other clues for this calculator, although it was one of the first adding devices with electromagnetic operation, after the machine of Charles Pidgin and Francis Leonard from 1883.

The gear wheels are moved by means of an electromagnetic mechanism, powered by batteries. By pressing a key, is closed particular contact and in this way is formed an electromagnet, which is rotating a lever, connected with the gear-wheels. The angle of rotation of the lever depends on the location of the contacts.