Marchant 10M
photo from Smithsonian Institute

The Marchant Calculating Machine Company was founded in 1910 by Rodney Marchant and Alfred Marchant and was based in Oakland. In the mid-late 1910s, the company's headquarters were located in the Federal Realty Building (now the Cathedral Building) in downtown Oakland, with an office at the corner of Powell Street and Landregan Street (now Horton Street), and a large factory at Horton and Stanford in Emeryville. The office building in Emeryvillestill exists.

c.1914 Cheney Photo Advertising, public domainSanborn excerpt

The 1913 directory lists the business at 714 Market Street. Before the 1912 renumbering, that had been 854 Market Street and 853 West Street. The above photo with 853 and 854 is probably that location, with the two sides spliced together into one photo.

On December 1, 1917, the company held an elaborate formal opening and public reception to welcome the completion of an expansion of its Emeryville factory. The ceremony included an automobile parade from the Hotel Oakland to the plant site, and an informal dance. The ceremony was announced in large articles and ads in the Oakland Tribune and the Oakland Enquirer. 2,3

1917 ad 2R.H. Marchant 2

The Marchants sold their interest in the company in 1921. 5

The 1950 Sanborn also shows an assembly building on 67th Street between the railroad tracks and San Pablo.

In 1952, the company changed its name to Marchant Calculators, Inc. On July 1, 1958 the company merged with Smith Corona Typewriters to form a new entity, Smith-Corona Marchant Inc., with Marchant Calculators as one of the corporation's major divisions. 4

6701 San Pablo

Following the 1958 merger, Marchant Calculators opened a new headquarters originally identified as 6701 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland. The Marchant Building was later used by UC Berkeley for printing and storage, along with other uses.

In about 2013-2014, the Marchant Building was redeveloped and revamped by the owner at that time, LBA Realty. As part of the process, the building was given three new addresses, and is now identified as 3100 San Pablo Avenue and 1000 Folger Street in Berkeley, and as 1222 - 67th Street in Emeryville. The building is right at the point where Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville come together, with portions in each of the three cities, giving it some flexibility in addresses. On February 24, 2014, TCHO Chocolates announced that they would be moving to the building by April 2014. On October 20, 2015, Amazon announced that they would be opening a distribution center on the north (Berkeley) side of the building.

1950 Sanborn excerpt. New headquarters building not yet constructed.

Marchant EB-9, c. 1920
CC photo from Ancelli
former Marchant HQ at 6701 San Pablo
photo CC SA-BY-NC from Our Oakland

Stanford Avenue and Horton, Emeryville

1950 Sanborn excerpt

office on Powellc.1917, from Oakland History Center via Calispherec.1914-1920 1

Links and References

  1. BANC PIC 1983.123:26--PIC UC Berkeley Bancroft Library Collection
  2. Marchant Calculator Is Great Invention That Has Aided Business of Entire World Oakland Tribune November 30, 1917
  3. Will Celebrate The Opening of Big New Unit of Marchant Calculating Company Oakland Enquirer November 30, 1917
  4. Marchant and Smith-Corona Merger Announced Here Oakland Tribune June 27, 1958
  5. Mrs. Sophye Marchant Oakland Tribune January 6, 1959