The Allen Wales Adding Machine

William S. Burroughs often spoke about the role his Grandfather played in the perfecting of and the mass distribution of the “counting machine”.

And, as such, his Grandfather, and subsequently his entite family was thought to have become rather wealthy through the commercialization of differently conceived adding machines in the late 19th century. Although this common misconception, was more of an embellishment – a myth originating with Jack Kerouac who often referred to said wealth as “The Burroughs Millions” in his novel ‘On The Road’.

My awareness of this was the only reason I immediately recognized, and greatly appreciated, what I was looking at when I undcovered this relic above – left behind in the attic by one of the former residents of the 100+ year old farmhouse I live in.