Discussion:
Burroughs ten-key vs. columnar adding machines
Add Reply
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2019-10-21 17:53:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).

NCR cash registers were columnar right up until the end.
Indeed, in the early days of electronic registers--before
scanners--their ten-key keyboard allowed faster checkouts.

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1955-06/page/n61

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1955-04/page/n69


(you may scroll through the rest of the magazines. neat
ads of the 1950s. The essays are very conservative.)
Scott Lurndal
2019-10-21 17:58:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).
I would think anyone _building_ an adding machine would
prefer a ten-key type to a columnar type.

While I like my 100-year old Burroughs adding machines, they
have beaucoup springs, levers and keycaps. The class 1 machines
with the beveled glass front and sides are works of art.
Andy Burns
2019-10-21 17:58:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
you may scroll through the rest of the magazines
And they /are/ accessible from outside the USA ...
Dave Garland
2019-10-22 16:55:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).
I suspect that the columnar machines are 1) easier for users who don't
practice (the 10-key is a "touch typing" layout, the columnar is a
"look at the keyboard" layout), and 2) aren't as prone to errors of
magnitude (consider what happens if you don't press a key far enough).
I've used both, and the 10-key is faster but more prone to errors.
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2019-10-22 19:29:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dave Garland
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).
I suspect that the columnar machines are 1) easier for users who don't
practice (the 10-key is a "touch typing" layout, the columnar is a
"look at the keyboard" layout), and 2) aren't as prone to errors of
magnitude (consider what happens if you don't press a key far enough).
I've used both, and the 10-key is faster but more prone to errors.
I found the columnar very cumbersome to use, such as on a
cash register. Even a mechanical adding machine with a 10-key
was easier.
J. Clarke
2019-10-22 22:59:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Dave Garland
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).
I suspect that the columnar machines are 1) easier for users who don't
practice (the 10-key is a "touch typing" layout, the columnar is a
"look at the keyboard" layout), and 2) aren't as prone to errors of
magnitude (consider what happens if you don't press a key far enough).
I've used both, and the 10-key is faster but more prone to errors.
I found the columnar very cumbersome to use, such as on a
cash register. Even a mechanical adding machine with a 10-key
was easier.
I think the big benefit of a columnar is that if you make an error in
a single digit you can change just that digit where with a 10-key you
have to clear and rekey the whole thing.
Scott Lurndal
2019-10-23 13:11:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Dave Garland
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).
I suspect that the columnar machines are 1) easier for users who don't
practice (the 10-key is a "touch typing" layout, the columnar is a
"look at the keyboard" layout), and 2) aren't as prone to errors of
magnitude (consider what happens if you don't press a key far enough).
I've used both, and the 10-key is faster but more prone to errors.
I found the columnar very cumbersome to use, such as on a
cash register. Even a mechanical adding machine with a 10-key
was easier.
I think the big benefit of a columnar is that if you make an error in
a single digit you can change just that digit where with a 10-key you
have to clear and rekey the whole thing.
That depends on the model. Burroughs class 3 allow you to simply press
another key in the same column. Burroughs class 1 has two models - one
where you need to clear all the columns to change a column, and one with
clear keys at the top of each column that clear that column only.
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2019-10-23 20:20:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Turns out Remington Rand had the same issue and made both
kinds of machines. They even talked about the differences in
an ad, showing both machines:

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1963-07/page/n31
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2019-11-05 21:02:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I found a bunch of ads (links below) by adding machine makers of
the 1950-60ss offering both ten-key or columnar as a choice.

NCR 1966 Sept
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1966-09/page/n63

Marchant 1966 Oct
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1966-10/page/n93

Victor 1952 April
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1952-04/page/n15

Burroughs 1956 March (offers a choice in one ad)
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1956-03/page/n59


I think Friden did as well, but I don't have ads for that.
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2019-11-25 21:30:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Victor ad
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1952-09/page/n59
Charlie Gibbs
2019-11-26 01:22:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Victor ad
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1952-09/page/n59
I noticed the AB Dick ad on the facing page as well. When I met
my bride to be, she was running offset printers that they also made.
Ironically, the model number was 360.
--
/~\ ***@kltpzyxm.invalid (Charlie Gibbs)
\ / I'm really at ac.dekanfrus if you read it the right way.
X Top-posted messages will probably be ignored. See RFC1855.
/ \ "Alexa, define 'bugging'."
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2019-11-27 21:22:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Victor ad
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1952-09/page/n59
I noticed the AB Dick ad on the facing page as well. When I met
my bride to be, she was running offset printers that they also made.
Ironically, the model number was 360.
I think AB Dick is out of business. Sad.

They made various kinds of duplicators--mimeo, spirit, offset.

In later issues, there are many ads for copiers. Different
technologies. Go forward ten years:

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-09/page/n13

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-09/page/n25

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-09/page/n59

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-09/page/n75

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-09/page/n109

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-10/page/n89

https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1962-10/page/n107
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2020-09-10 18:31:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I would think anyone using an adding machine would prefer a
ten-key type to a columnar type. Indeed, machine makers
advertised the speed of a ten-key. But Burroughs made
both, as shown by the following ads, and continued to do
so for years (I remember columnars in banks in the 1970s).
Here are some more ads for columnar vs. ten key. Several
makers made both, even showed both in ads for the customer
to compare.

Burroughs ten key vs. columnar
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1954-12/page/n67/mode/2up

Victor 10 key vs. columnar
https://archive.org/details/the-saturday-evening-post-1953-10-31/page/n95/mode/2up

Remington 10 key vs columnar
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1963-07/page/n31/mode/1up

NCR 10 key vs. columnar
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1966-09/page/n64/mode/1up

SCM-Marchant comparison; early electronic model.
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1966-10/page/n94/mode/1up


Notice in 1966 Friden is still making columnar (and using
a pretty girl to pitch their machines).
https://archive.org/details/Nations-Business-1966-12/page/n101/mode/2up



also, Burroughs ten-key adders in color
https://archive.org/details/the-saturday-evening-post-1955-03-19/page/n7/mode/2up
Loading...