I know what it is, but I don’t know how it works. This dinosaur from offices past was forgotten in a bedroom in the suburbs. It’s a Victor adding machine, a mechanical precursor to the calculator. I had previously only seen them in movies, where an accountant wearing a visor, with a pencil behind his ear, would bang at the keys, pull a lever, and rip off a slip of paper much like a cashier’s receipt.
The adding machine is a nearly forgotten piece of business life. It has gone the way of the three-martini lunch, ashtrays at every desk, and the keypunch. It is now nothing more than a quaint relic to a more primitive time.