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Combination:Calculating Machine and Printer, 1897

Expansion and Merger

The American Arithmometer Company struggled financially in its early days, unable to report the sale of significantly more than 5,000 machines by the end of 1900. From the mid-1800s to 1900, adding and calculating machines were met with opposition by bookkeepers and counting-house clerks, who feared that such machines would displace their services. Sales of Burroughs machines grew rapidly after 1900, outselling their primary competitor: Felt & Tarrant. This increase in sales was due in part to marketing strategies that included the sales brochure pictured here.

American Arithmometer experienced its first major expansion in 1898, when Sir John Turney of Nottingham acquired the rights to manufacture Burroughs machines for all the countries and continents of the Eastern hemisphere, including Britain and Europe. Having gotten its start in 1886 in Saint Louis selling only the Burroughs Registering Accountant, the expanding American parent company moved to Detroit in 1904 and changed its name to the Burroughs Adding Machine Company. The new name honored the machine's inventor, who had died in 1898. An expanding product line helped the company to flourish, and in 1953 it began to produce computer products and was renamed the Burroughs Corporation. That same year, the company factory, located in Strathleven, Scotland, was honored by a royal visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was accompanied by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. Thirty-three years later, in September of 1986, Burroughs Corporation merged with Sperry Corporation to form Unisys Corporation.