Charles Weiss

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Charles Weiss

History of Computers and Computing, Mechanical calculators, 19th century, Charles Weiss

Key Points:
  • Charles W. Weiss, an inventor from Brooklyn, New York, held a patent for an Electro Magnetic Adding Machine.
  • His machine was one of the first with electromagnetic operation.
  • Weiss invented multiple other devices while in the employ of Kruse Check & Adding Machine Company, and Kruse’s name ended up on many of those patents.

Charles Weiss

On August 31, 1886, Charles W. Weiss of Brooklyn, New York, received a patent (U.S. patent №348437) for an Electro Magnetic Adding Machine. Weiss worked for the Kruse Check & Adding Machine Company in New York, which manufactured cash registers, adding machines, and typewriters. Interestingly, Weiss designed multiple other devices while employed by Charles Kruse, and Kruse’s name was attached to some of these patents: sewing machines, electric gas lighters, electric registering apparatus, drinking vessel, atmospheric engine, photographic passenger recorder, and an adding device for check machines.

Besides the patent, we don’t have any information about the single-column adding machine of Weiss. It was one of the first adding device with electromagnetic operation, after the machine of Charles Pidgin and Francis Leonard from 1883.

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

The gear wheels are moved by means of an electromagnetic mechanism, powered by batteries. By pressing of 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.


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