Burroughs Corporation records. Patent and trademark records
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains information on patents obtained by William S. Burroughs and many of his early competitors, including Felt, Hiett, Hopkins, the Wales Company, and many others. The collection also contains information on Burroughs typewriters and on the Gidion Sewing Machine Company, a company Burroughs was interested in purchasing as well as information on various Burroughs trademarks used throughout the years, including the name "Burroughs," the letter "B" and other logos.
This is one series of the Burroughs Corporation Records (CBI 90). Please see the other series finding aids for further information regarding the Burroughs Corporation.
- Creation: 1897-1980
- Burroughs Corporation (Organization)
Language of Materials
Access to materials:
Access to the collection is unrestricted.
The Charles Babbage Institute holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).
The first Burroughs Corporation patent was applied for by William S. Burroughs on January 10, 1885 and it was granted on August 21, 1888. He was not alone, however, as several people both in the United States and elsewhere had applied for patents for various calculating devices, including Dorr E. Felt, who invented the Comptometer. There is confusion as to whether Burroughs or Felt actually had the "first" adding machine. Burroughs filed his application for a patent was about a year and a half earlier than Felt's, but Felt's patents were granted in 1887. Burroughs' machine also had several unique features not found on other machines including: a single lever stroke that computed the answer and printed it on paper, printing (or listing) of individual items, self-correction and checking before finally pulling the lever, and the dash pot to regulate the operating mechanism and compensate for the different styles of lever pulling by the operators.
1 box (1 cubic foot)
Collection contains information on patents obtained by William S. Burroughs and many his early competitors, including Dorr E. Felt; Burroughs typewriters; and the Gidion Sewing Machine Company which Burroughs was interested in purchasing. It also has information on various Burroughs logos and trademarks used throughout the years.
Arrangement of Collection
The materials in this collection are arranged into the following groups:
- Patent History
- Patent Lists
- Patent Reports
- Patent Rights
- Patent Sales
- Patent Transfers
The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Unisys Corporation in 1991, accession 991-35.
- Burroughs Corporation Records. Patent and Trademark Records, 1897-1980. Finding Aid.
- Prepared by Susan A. Stepka, September 1995.
- July 2005
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note