H I S T O R I C A L R E M A R K S to Inventors & Calculator-Companies
... most of the text is based on the books of
(1) Martin REESE / "Neue Blicke auf alte Maschinen" / KOVAC
(2) Thomas A. RUSSO / "Antique Office Machines" / SCHIFFER
ADDIATOR / ADDIMULT / CORRENTATOR / PRODUX / RECORD
The calculator »TRICK«, invented 1911 by Christel Hamann was the template
for Otto Meuter's invention of the ADDIATOR. Because he had no money, he
joined Carl Kuebler, a businessman, who founded the »ADDIATOR« company in
Berlin / Germany in 1920 and O.Meuter got a profit of 50 pence for each
calculator produced. But the inflation rate at that time made this worth
nothing. O.Meuter tried to change the contract in shared percentage profit,
but C.Kuebler refused. O.Meuter started a new partnership with J.Bergmann
and produced his calculators under the name PROCALCULO and CORRENTATOR. In
1928 O.Meuter's calculators became successful under the name PRODUX. After
WW-II his company split: In West-Germany PRODUX production continued and
under the East-German system RECORD calculators were produced until 1988.
As a more successful competitor, C.Kuebler's ADDIATOR survived in West-
Berlin until the 1980s. FABER-CASTELL was the first company, to made (eg.)
pocket-sized slide rules with an ADDIATOR on the back-side to combine
"HighMath" with "Add&Sub". After WWII Hans-Wolfgang Kuebler, son of
Carl Kuebler, founded his own company to produce competitive ADDIATORS
under the name ADDIMULT in Donaueschingen . The model »ADDIFIX« in this
collection was distributed from the mail-order house NECKERMANN.
The ADDO Company produced adding machines from 1920 on in Malmo, Sweden.
After Odhner's patent expired, ADDO build Pin-Wheel calculators under its
Brand-Name "MULTO" from 1949 on. In 1966 ADDO merged with FACIT / ODHNER.
... Under Construction ...
The ASTRAWERKE AG in Chemnitz, Saxonia / (East-)Germany was founded
in 1921 from John E.Greve. Their first calculater was "Model A" and
it was the 1st 10-Block Keyboard in Europe. Improvements followed with
Models B .. D and the company was growing. Their speciality became
accounting machines. After WWII Chemnitz was renamed in Karl-Marx-Stadt
and the East Germany's government took control of ASTRA. But their
success continued: The "Klasse-170" were called "Queen of Accounting
Machines". ASTRA and WANDERER were joined to VEB BUEROMASCHINENWERK
( VEB = "Volks Eigener Betrieb" ) in 1953. In 1959 their logo changed
from "ASTRA" to "ASCOTA". Renamed in ROBOTRON BUCHUNGSMASCHINENWERK
KARL-MARX-STADT, 1978 an 8-Bit-Computer, in 1986 a 16-Bit-Computer was
produced and in 1990 also a Personal Computer - But 1991 the company
was liquidated ( "abgewickelt" ) after Germany's Unification. MORE ...
... adapted from:
The British Bell Punch Co., Limited, was founded in 1878. With
American patent rights TICKET PUNCH MACHINES where produced for
tramway companies in England and the London bus and underground
system. In 1894 the company suffered a disastrous fire. Relocated,
the company expanded rapidly in the early 1900s when many of the
company-owned tramways operating in the provinces were taken over
by the municipalities - and it was then that the extensive electri-
fication of tramway systems in the country took place.
Up to about 1930 there had been no company in England involved in
the manufacture of TAXIMETER and the trade was entirely dependent
on meters imported from abroad.The manufacture of taximeters fitted
in with the Bell Punch Company's scheme of cash control.
As an adjunct to its ticket control systems the company acquainted
a small adding mechanism developed by Petters, Limited, of Yeovil.
The ADDING MACHINE was named PLUS and some tens of thousands have
been sold both at home and abroad. Half- and full-keyboard models,
decimal and non-decimal versions were made.
The "Pin-Wheel" mechanism was invented independently in the USA (1872)
by Frank S.Baldwin and in Europe (1874) by Willgodt T.Odhner. In 1892 the
ODHNER CO. licenced patent rights to the sewing machine company Grimme,
Natalis & Co. - later named BRUNSVIGA Werke in Braunschweig / Germany.
Its chief-engineer Franz Trinks promoted the BRUNSVIGA at such success,
that the competitor ODHNER CO. (former St. Petersburg / Russia, later
Goeteborg / Sweden) attached the sign "Original" to their machines to
distinguish them from their identical look in the beginning. BRUNSVIGA
machines improved tremendously ("System Trinks") and after 1900 the
"BRUNSVIGA" became a synonym for "Calculating-Machines" in Europe. In
1932 BRUNSVIGA made the "Model 10" with "Split-Stepped-Drum" technique
(System BALDWIN/MONROE - The descendant "11E" is in this collection...)
and had great success with this economical calculator too. In 1959
BRUNSVIGA joined the Typewriter & Calculator Company OLYMPIA Werke in
Wilhelmshaven / Germany.
William S.Burroughs developed his own adding machine in St.Louis while
working for Frank S.Baldwin, who was famous for his construction of the
pin-wheel based calculating machine. Without knowledge of Dorr E.Felt,
W.S.Burroughs had the same idea using an "Active Keyboard" to perform
addition immediately when all digits of a number are entered (using all
fingers at the same time) simultanieously without additional cranking.
Despite applying one year earlier than D.E.Felt, W.S.Burroughs patent was
issued in 1888, a year later than D.E.Felt's COMPTOMETER. W.S.Burroughs
died 1898, too early to enjoy the phenomenal success of the BURROUGHS CO.
he founded. In 1904 the factory moved from St.Louis, Missouri to Detroit,
Michigan / USA and became "Largest Adding Machine Factory in the World".
The beautiful styling & durability of the BURROUGHS CLASS 3 Adding Machine
was manufactured between 1911-1929. "Many models were constructed with
over 5,000 parts, with as many as 2000 moving in together at any one time.
This machine was considered one among the most technologically advanced
of it's time, and commanded a price comporable to that of a new car."
( citated from the http://www.computinghistorymuseum.org )
Their success met the "Electronic Age" when BURROUGHS with SPERRY-UNIVAC
united 1986 to become UNISYS.
Dorr E.Felt invented the COMPTOMETER 1885 without knowledge of William
S.Burroughs' developments. Both of them realized the same idea of an
"Active Keyboard" to perform addition immediately when the number is
entered simultanieously (using all fingers at the same time) - without
any additional cranking. Because D.E.Felt had no access to costly tools,
he prototyped his first model out of a wooden macaroni box, skewers,
rubber bands and staples. D.E.Felt filed for a patent a year later than
W.S.Burroughs, but got the patent in 1887, a year earlier. He founded
the Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Co. in Chicago, Illinois / USA in the
same year. The first COMPTOMETERs came in wooden cases and are collector
items today. Over the years the machines got important improvements, an
"Error Lock" against wrong handling e.g. The success of the COMPTOMETER
lasted till the 1970s, because skilled operators could speed-up book-
keeping calculations faster than with those "modern" 10-Key-Block Adders.
In 1961 the company merged with VICTOR to form VICTOR COMPTOMETER CO.
For more details see the "COMPTOMETER-HomePage" by Brooke W. Boering:
The company was founded by the "Carlsen Brothers" in Gentoft, Danmark
in 1923. They designed and manufactured inventive business machines:
calculators, printers and copiers.
Two lines of interesting and innovative mechanical calculators came on
the market under the name »CONTEX« in the '50s and '60s. The 1st line
was a key-driven adding machine in style of a Comptometer, with a "half"
keyboard and simplified mechanism. Model »A« was an "open" and model »B«
was a "closed" version.
The 2nd line was a series of 10-Block keyboard machines. The CONTEX-10
was a manual one. The CONTEX-20 was motor-driven. The CONTEX-30 had
improved motor-driven multiplication and division. The CONTEX-55 has
its own DIVISION REGISTER to complete the division full automatically.
In 1980's CONTEX developed large-format scanners. With its manufacturing
facilities in Svendborg, Denmark, CONTEX is also today in this field.
CURTA is named after its inventor Curt Herzstark (1902-1988), who found
the urgent needed solution how to build a real "Pocket-Calculator" for
architects and engineers in the field. He formulated his idea while he
was prisoner in the KZ (Concentration Camp) Buchenwald under Hitler's
terror regime. After WW-II the prince of Liechtenstein became interested
and the CONTINA company was established...
The story along with excellent pictures of CURTA's functionality, written
by Cliff Stoll was published in Scientific American, Jan.2004, p.92-99.
For more details see also the "CURTA-HomePage" by Jan Meyer:
In 1918 the Axel Wibel company in Stockholm produced their first FACIT
calculator: An Odhner/pin-wheel type. In 1924 A.Wibel along with the name
FACIT was taken over by the Atvidaberg Industries. In 1932 the "Model T"
(upon the patent of Charles Rudin from 1928) with "Dalton"-type keyboard
came on the market. An electrical powered "Model E" was produced in 1936.
In 1943 FACIT calculators changed colors from black to green and 1958
to gray. The cases were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, a member of the
Swedish Royal family. FACIT became part of the ELECTROLUX CO. in 1973.
For more details see also the "FACIT-HomePage" by Harald Schmid:
The ODHNER Calculators, produced in St.Petersburg/Russia, came to an halt
in 1917 because the "October Revolution". The factory became a Russia-run
business. Odhner moved to Sweden and founded the "ORIGINAL-ODHNER" company
in Goeteborg. In Russia the production of ODHNER calculators was continued
under the name "FELIKS": In 1924 the factory was moved to Moscow by Feliks
Dzerzhinsky, later also head of the KGB - located in the same building!
1st FAQ: "Are you related to Christel Hamann?"
No clue - But there could be a chance that we share the same gene pool.
2nd FAQ: "Christel or Christian Hamann?"
Definitely his christian name is "Christel", but this is usually a
female name in German. In a USA patent document, I know, he has signed
as "Christian Hamann" (to stop the confusion?). As a result he is cited
in the USA also as "Christian Hamann"...
"Christel Hamann - An Archimedes of the 20th Century"
According to museum catalogues (e.g. Arithmeum, Bonn + Verkehr&Technik,
Berlin), the German Christel Hamann (1870-1948) was a genius inventor
of new and different construction principles for calculating machines.
Early inventions were made in his Mathematisch-Mechanisches Institut
(founded 1896 in Berlin): The ADAM RIESE (1909, an adding machine),
LOGARITHMUS (1910, direct multiplying & printing, an improved version
of a pin-wheel based machine), TRICK (1912, an ADDIATOR-Type calculator)
and TASMA (1924, a small visible-printing adder). His 1905 patented
GAUSS, a circular stepped-drum calculator, was later produced by
MERCEDES-Bueromaschinenwerke in Berlin. In 1910 he invented the famous
"Proportional-Lever" machines MERCEDES-EUKLID, also with motorized
multiplication and division. After WW-I the MERCEDES company moved to
Zella-Mehlis in Thueringen and produced this calculator-type also after
WW-II as a GDR-run business. Sometime the extension -EUKLID was dropped
and from 1963 the name was changed to CELLATRON...
In 1925 C.Hamann invented a new type of calculators with "Switching-Latch"
mechanism, the HAMANN-MANUS. The Deutsche Telephonwerke & Kabelindustrie
(=DeTeWe), Berlin asked him to became chief-engineer and produced his
machines under his name with great success. The line included manual and
electrical machines with automatic multiplication and division, e.g.:
HAMANN-AUTOMAT, HAMANN-SELECTA, HAMANN-DELTA (with mechan.memory!). All
were trend-setters in the market. In 1958 the calculator branch of DeTeWe
was sold to the American SCM company, but the HAMANN line continued.
His BIOGRAPHY ( and a lot more! ) can be found at Georgi Dalakov's
... adapted from: http://www.bluemich.net/rechner/
In 1951 Hugo Schumann founded »KOMET« in Frankfurt am Main / Germany to
make & distribute affordable calculating machines. In the beginning
machines based on patents of RESULTA were produced by Siegfried Link in
Feinmechanische Werkstatt in Griesheim b. Darmstadt. In 1953 S.Link's own
development, the small full-keyboard adding machine »TA«, was launched -
with no success: In 1955 the company vanished and the »TA« was taken
over by BRUNSVIGA as Model »90_TA«.
With experiences in calculator design and production (with BRUNSVIGA
& TRIUMPHATOR), Otto Holzapfel (together with Paul Bastaenier) founded
1914 the » OTTO HOLZAPFEL & Cie. Rechenmaschinenfabrik « in Leipzig.
Their Pin-Wheel calculators »LIPSIA-0« and »Model-11R« were successful
and much cheaper than the machines of the competitors (eg. BRUNSVIGA or
TRIUMPHATOR). The small adding machine »ADDI-7« became successful too.
Leipzig was in East-Germany and after WWII the GDR administration ex-
propriated and later deleted the HOLZAPFEL company. The »ADDI-7« was
modified and produced from TRIUMPHATOR as »KA« (= "KleinAddierer").
MARCHANT Calculating Machine Co. was founded 1910 in Oakland, California
by the brothers Rodney & Alfred Marchant. First calculators made were
based on ODHNER-Types. In 1918 (in response to patent troubles) employee
Carl M.F. Friden designed a new type of successful calculators. Friden
became chief designer until he left 1934 to found his own FRIDEN company.
In 1958 MARCHANT joined with SMITH-CORONA to became the "M" in »SCM«.
... adapted from:
( SORRY, Only Text was available - No original pictures are saved )
In 1903 Perry A. McCaskey founded the McCASKEY REGISTER Co. in
Alliance, Ohio / USA. The company became a big success. In 1953 the
McCaskey Co. was bought by VICTOR.
The Pin Wheel Calculator MELITTA was produced by MERCEDES in Zella-Mehlis
parallel to Hamann's EUKLID Proportional Lever Calculators. From 1926 the
MELITTA was produced by WALTHER under the brand name WALTHER and also as
MELITTA for MERCEDES. After WWII the factory was destroyed and WALTHER
restarted production in Niederstotzingen/Wuertemberg, West-Germany.
Former employees of the Zella-Mehlis/Thueringen branch in East-Germany
restored the MELITTA production in Suhl/Thueringen in the FORTUNA-WERK
(a typewriter factory) under East-Germany's government control.
(a) Production of the HAMANN/EUKLID Proportional Lever Calculators ...
===========>>> see HAMANN <<<===========
(b) Under the name MELITTA also Pin Wheel Calculators until 1926 ...
===========>>> see MELITTA <<<===========
===========>>> see WALTHER <<<===========
( cited from IBM History Archive )
Swiss engineer Otto Steiger (1858-1923) invented the "Millionaire" -
the first commercially successful machine based on the principle of
direct multiplication ( "1x1-Koerper" ) - and patented it in 1893.
It was manufactured and marketed by the Hans Egli Company of Zurich
beginning in 1899. By the early 1900s, two thousand were in use, and
the last of 4,655 "Millionaire" machines was sold in 1935.
Independent of W.T.Odhner (1874) in Europe, in the USA Frank S.Baldwin
set up the "Pin-Wheel" mechanism in 1872 to build calculators. In 1911
F.S.Baldwin teamed with Jay R.Monroe to develop a "Split-Stepped-Drum"
calculator with full-keyboard. They were easy to make and light-weight.
This was the start of the MONROE Calculating Co. in New York, which
moved later to Orange, New Jersey / USA. As a successful company they
survived into the "Electronic Age".
The Adding/Printing Calculator »MONROE« Mod.811-H14 in this collection
was made by OLYMPIA Werke Wilhelmshaven / West-Germany. The same machine
came to the European market with its »OLYMPIA« logo. It seems, that this
calculator was one of the best on the market of that time: Nice looking,
small, easy to change paper roll and ribbon, printing negative numbers
and also "real" negative results in red. In the MONROE catalog of 1965
it is stated, that this "Little Giant" has a "foreign origin"...
The first "Cash Register" was made by James and John Ritty in Dayton,
Ohio. James Ritty was owner of a good running saloon in Dayton - but
there were no profits. Ritty was suspicious that his bartenders had
their hands in the cash drawer. Together with his brother he build
the first "Incorruptible Cashier" in the "National Manufacturing Co."
In 1883 John H. Patterson became shareholder and in 1884 owner of the
company. Patterson made substantial improvements, renamed the company
to THE NATIONAL CASH REGISTER CO. and launched sales initiatives.
"He revolutionized the worlds way of doing business. Before most of
merchants had no idea how much profit they should have made at the end
of a year or even how much was missing from their cash box at the end of
the day. The cash register gave them, for the first time, the means of
running their businesses professionally and systematically." In 1926
NCR became publicly owned. Although famous for its beautiful mechanical
brass cash registers (designed by Tiffany), NCR announced in 1957 its
first fully transistorized business computer, the »NCR-304«. Inventing
the "Liquid Crystal Display" in 1968, the first commercially available
bar code scanner in 1974, NCR survived into modern "Computer World".
After World War II the German MIRA Rechenmaschinen Fabrik in Heinichen
bei Reichenbach became Czech territory (Hanichov) and moved to Prosec
near Jablonec on the river Nisa (German = Neisse). Calculators were
produced with Russian construction plans from 1930s, based on MONROE
templates. The company was successful in the Eastern Block, because the
economical "Split-Stepped-Drum" machines could co-exist beside the more
expensive "Pin-Wheel" mechanics of the Russian FELIKS and the East-German
competitors TRIUMPHATOR, MELITTA and MADIX. The NISA-K2 calculator of
this collection is nearly identical to the »MONROE-LX« internally, but
has another (quite nice) look in its plastic design. According to Wolf's
HomePage http://www.bluemich.net/rechner/ the YEAR-CODE started with
A=1950, B=1951, ... The following number ref. to the year's quarter.
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
( REF.: M.Reese & P.Haertel in "Historische Buerowelt Nr.77, Dec.2007 )
In 2000 calculator collectors got the surprising "NEWS", that the Italien
»NUMERIA« is NOT a MONROE-Clone! The mechanic is NOT the Split-Step-Drum
principle but a modified Pin-Wheel with AXIAL SPROCKETS.
LAGOMARSINO of Milano, founded 1896, was in the begin a distributor of
calculators and typewriters. In 1938 production started with the licenced
Swedish 10-Key adding machine »ADDO-X« under the name »TOTALIA«. The
»NUMERIA« was patented 1938 in Switzerland and produced 1940 first by
SICMU (= Societa Italiana Commercio Macchine per Ufficico), later by
FABRICA ADDIZIONATRICE ITALIANA, Milano - what became LAGOMARSINO S.p.A.
The Swedish Willgodt T. Odhner invented the pin wheel principle in Europe
in 1874 independent from Frank S. Baldwin, who had the same idea in the USA
in 1872. Odhner produced his calculators in St.Petersburg / Russia until
the "October Revolution" in 1917, the factory became a Russia-run business.
Odhner moved to Sweden and founded the "ORIGINAL-ODHNER" company in Goeteborg.
He attached "Original" on its name, because the look-alike calculators from
BRUNSVIGA (made according to a bought patent from Odhner) was a very strong
competitor. ( In Russia the production of ODHNER calculators was continued
under the name FELIKS: In 1924 the factory was moved to Moscow by Feliks
Dzerzhinsky, later the head of the KGB ... )
Camillo Olivetti had studied electrical engineering in Turin / Italy.
In 1893 he was asked to accompany one of his professors on a lecture
tour of the universities in the USA. As a result he accepted an
"Assistant Professorship" in the Electrical Engineering Department of
Stanford University. After one year he returned to Italy, spent several
years in study and production of electrical and mathematical devices.
In 1908 he founded the 1st Italian typewriter factory in Ivrea near Turin.
The "Ing. C. Olivetti & C., S.p.A." grew rapidly and opened subsidaries in
Europe and the rest of the world. 1930 OLIVETTI moved into teleprinters
and calculators. One of the key figures behind the company's rapid
expansion was Adriano Olivetti: Camillo's son established a corporate
style and culture that won OLIVETTI a unique place in European industrial
history. Eg.: LEXIKON-80 (an office typewriter, 1950) & LETTERA-22
(a portable typewriter, 1950) and the famous DIVISUMMA (a full-automatic
printing calculator, 1956) - all designed by Natale Nizzoli. In 1959 the
US typewriter company UNDERWOOD was acquisitioned. Investments in
electronics (with a research lab in Pisa) let OLIVETTI present Italian's
1st transistorized computer, ELEA-9003 in 1959. In 1965 OLIVETTI presented
the P101, a forerunner of the personal computer. With broad palettes of
office products, ranging from electronic word processors, calculators,
printers, fax machines, cash registers and photocopiers OLIVETTI has
survived into the modern world of telecommunication. For more details see
OLIVETTI's HomePage: http://olivetti.se/history.htm
===========>>> see also BRUNSVIGA + MONROE <<<===========
The company started after the invention of the "Pointing Typewriter"
MIGNON by Friedrich v.Hefner-Alteneck, engineer of AEG ( = ALLGEMEINE
ELEKTRIZITAETSGESELLSCHAFT ) in Berlin: In 1903 a company was founded to
produce the »MIGNON«, the UNION SCHREIBMASCHINENGESELLSCHAFT. In 1923
the company moved to Erfurt and was renamed AEG DEUTSCHE WERKE. In 1930
it was renamed EUROPA SCHREIBMASCHINEN. Until the end of production in
1933, there were 49 different Font-Cylinders available! Their new
typewriters were very successful under the name »OLYMPIA«, and in
1936 the company was renamed again OLYMPIA BUEROMASCHINENWERKE.
In WWII the factory was destroyed. "Leftovers" in Erfurt (East-Germany)
became OPTIMA BUEROMASCHINENWERKE a GDR-run business - Former employees
founded in Wilhelmshaven (West-Germany) the new OLYMPIA WERKE under AEG
share-holding. OLYMPIA's peak was in the 1970s when it was the largest
producer of office machines in Germany. The rise of small-computers
brought this classic mechanical industry to a halt. With the re-
organization of Daimler-Benz/AEG/Olympia, the OLYMPIA branch was sold
and the new owner in Asia formed the OLYMPIA INTERNATIONAL HOLDING LTD.
The company PRECISA was founded 1935 by Ernst Jost to produce mechanical
calculating machines (from 1942 on) in Zurich-Oerlikon / Swiss. End of
the 50s the company had more than 1000 employees in a world network.
PRECISA AG fusioned 1964 with the typewriter manufacturer HERMES
and renamed HERMES-PRECISA INTERNATIONAL AG. Additional production
of electronic Precision-Scales. Assumption of HERMES by OLIVETTI.
The production of calculators ended in the 70s, but the production of
Precision-Scales continues until today.
The story begins with ADDIATOR. In the '30s Otto Meuter is planning a
"real" calculating machine. It should have a market beside the "big"
BRUNSVIGA, HAMANN, THALES, TRIUMPHATOR and WALTHER when the machine is
much cheaper. This is only to achieve with parts made out of sheet-metal.
After WWII Otto Meuter became a prisoner of the Russians for 4 years. In
1952 he started the production of the MULTATOR with his son Claus. Otto
Meuter died in 1975 but could enjoy its success: Over 100.000 were sold
until the end of production in 1973.
QUELLE is a ware house chain and a mail-order house in Germany. The
calculator shown here was made by EIKO Business Machine Co.Ltd / Japan.
The "Futuristic Design" from the 1960/70s is still very attractive today.
In 1927 James H. Rand bought the REMINGTON TYPEWRITER CO. and made
it a part of his newly formed REMINGTON RAND CORPORATION. Adding machines
were manufactured from 1932 in the »Accounting Machine Division« of Buffalo,
New York. 1955 REMINGTON RAND merged with SPERRY-UNIVAC and later in 1986
with BURROUGHS to form UNISYS. R E M A R K : REMINGTON RAND is also
famous for its invention in 1937 of the first Electric Dry Shaver...
The mini adding machines RESULTA (operated with a pen) were produced from
1927 until 1969 by Maschinen und Werkzeugfabrik Paul Bruening in (West-)
Berlin / Germany (in the beginning under the name "Minerva"). P.Bruening
made several (patented) improvements over the years.
A DETAILED RESULTA-HISTORY (in German) can be found in the colection of
WOLF BLUEMICH: http://www.bluemich.net/rechner/rmresulta.htm
===========>>> see THALES <<<===========
Similiar to RESULTA, the bigger SUMMIRA calculators also monitor the
input in a separate display, but they are operated with fingers. They
were produced by Paul G.Mueller in Roisdorf bei Bonn / Germany.
The history of »THALES« started with Emil Schubert. In 1906 he was a
foreman at the TRIUMPHATOR-WERK and was involved with the development
of the "Pin-Wheel" calculator production from the beginning. In 1911
he decided to form a company (together with the businessman L.Haberer)
to produce calculators of his own. The later success of the »THALES«
was due to Max Mueller. He had a talent for business and had also good
connections. In 1933, unfortunately, M.Mueller was found guity of
embezzlement and was forced to leave the company. In 1936 the National
Socialists forced E.Schubert to leave his company without taking his
patents. He then found a new company to produce the »SCHUBERT« (!)
calculators. After WWII, in 1946, M.Mueller came back to head the
THALES-WERKE in Rastatt. Their "Pin-Wheel" calculators were successful
on the world market until the late 60s.
Ludwig Spitz was involved in the calculator business for "Saxonia"
and "Arthur Burkhardt". In 1907 he founded his own factory in Berlin:
"RECHENMASCHINENFABRIK LUBWIG SPITZ & CO." He named his step-drum
machine with one arithmetic unit "TIM" (= Time-Is-Money) and "UNITAS"
the machine with two arithmetic units.
The company was founded in 1896 as »Peter Weill & Co.« in Frankfurt a.M.
(Roedelheim) to produce bikes. In 1906 additionally typewriters were
produced and the company renamed to TORPEDO-WERKE AG. Its 1st German
4-key-row portable typewriter, and the invention of segment switching
(in contrary to lifting the carriage) made publicity. In 1931 the
REMINGTON-RAND CORP., New York became the main share-holder. The
international success of the company was interrupted by WWII, because
most of the production facilities were destroyed. After 1945 the re-
construction was done with the restless help of former employees and
soon the production was running again. 1952 TORPEDO was successful in
the world market with a broad spectrum of accounting machines and
typewriters. One model became famous, because Mss. Hanne Friess won
the 1st "World Speed Writing Contest" in Monte Carlo 1955 with a
TORPEDO-SOLITAER typewriter. After the boom in the bike market 1954/55
an overwelming amount of competitors let TORPEDO drop the production of
bicycles and motor cycles in favour to focus on office machines: 40% of
all accounting machines, produced in (West-)Germany came from TORPEDO.
In 1967 the production came to halt.
TRIUMPHATOR, together with BRUNSVIGA and ODHNER, belongs to the 3 world-
famous companies for "Pin-Wheel" type calculators. Their begin was 1900
as a vacuum-tube company. In Leipzig-Lindenau ( with a mechanic from
BRUNSVIGA, Otto Holzapfel) the calculator production started 1904 under
the brand name »TRIUMPHATOR«. As the first company world-wide, its
counter units where made with 10s-carry to perform "Shortened Methode of
Multiplication". 1912 an other man of BRUNSVIGA joined: Boleslaus Benas
became "General Salesman" and brought TRIUMPHATOR to success: 1920 the
company moved to Moelkau near Leipzig (in a former pianoforte manufacture
building) and 1930 the year-production of TRIUMPHATOR was alike of its
competitor BRUNSVIGA. After WWII, 1946, the East Germany's government took
control and the company produced calculators mainly for the "Eastern Bloc".
1965 the production (after 61 continuing years) came to an end.
UNIS, Berville_Paris / France
U N I S means "Union Nationale Inter Syndicale", which was a protective
name invented in 1916 by a french chamber of commerce. Goal was to unify
different french products under one logo with a standard of quality ...
May be to counter the famous "Made in Germany" ? In this collection is
also a UNIS SLIDE RULE.
The VICTOR Adding Machine Co. in Chicago, Illinois / USA, was founded
1918 by Oliver Johantgen and funded by Carl Buehler. Production started
with their "Model 110" (full-keyboard, non-printing) and it was the first
truly portable (35 lb) adding machine compared to the 100 lb ones of its
competitors. 1921 printing versions were introduced and in 1924 machines
with sub-total, total and subtraction were made. 1914 modern 10-Key-Block
design was introduced by Oscar J.Sundstrand (of SUNDSTRAND Adding Machine
Co. He sold his rights to UNDERWOOD and worked there until 1949). In 1950
he joined VICTOR and designed the VICTOR printing machines introduced in
1954. The company was very successful and 1961 they united with the
COMPTOMETER company Felt & Tarrant to form the VICTOR-COMPTOMETER-Corp.
They survived into the "Electronic Age" with a high-quality CP/M Micro-
Computer VICTOR-9000 - but failed in the race with the IBM-PCs.
The German WALTHER company was famous for manufacturing weapons. In 1926
the company started a civil branch to produce calculators based on the
MERCEDES MELITTA licence purchased from another German company. WALTHER
in Zella-Mehlis became very successful and a competitor of BRUNSVIGA in
Braunschweig. After WW-II WALTHER-Bueromaschinen moved from Zella-Mehlis
to Niederstotzingen / West-Germany and continued their success to 1970s.
Montgomery-Ward was a ware house chain in the USA. The calculator shown
here was made by EIKO Business Machine Co.Ltd / Japan. The "Futuristic
Design" from the 1950/60s is still very attractive today.
© C.HAMANN http://public.beuth-hochschule.de/~hamann 05/09/13