Jaap's Mechanical Calculators Page

← Back

Aderes / Adix Column Adder

Aderes Column Adder


Introduction
Calculation
History
My Aderes
Patents
Links


The Aderes is a column adder that is based on the Adix machine from 1903. Column adders are small machines that allow you to sum up single digits. You use them to add up each column of a larger sum.

Calculation

As a simple example I will explain how you use a column adder to add the following 5 two-digit numbers:

 71
 63
 56
 19
 32
--- +
...

You would enter the digits of the right column into the adder, to get 1+3+6+9+2 = 21. You then write down the 1 and carry the 2 to the next column.

 2
 71
 63
 56
 19
 32
--- +
..1

Reset the adder and enter the numbers of the second column, including the carried-over 2. This gives 2+7+6+5+1+3 = 24. You then write this down to get the full answer.

 71
 63
 56
 19
 32
--- +
241

History

The Adix was developed by Joseph Pallweber in 1903. He was a clockmaker based in Mannheim, Germany. The first version of this machine had a rather convoluted methods for resetting the counter to zero, which involved holding down the 1 button, and turning various gears by hand. For this reason, the machine was not enclosed in a casing when in use. Joseph Pallweber together with Adolf Bordt set up the Adix Company to develop and sell these machines. Despite the complicated reset procedure, they sold reasonably well as they were cheaper and quieter than proper calculators.

The Adix Company made these machines until the 1920s, by which time Pallweber had left to invent other things, and Bordt was trying to move the company on to making a full calculating machine.

Johann Zähringer was a manufacturer and supplier of many of the parts for the Adix, based in Schönenbach, near Furtwangen in Germany. He eventually took over the full production of the Adix. They were sold in Germany and France under various names including Adix, Aderes, Amifo, and Reports, and production continued up until the 1950s.

These machines now had a simple reset lever, and as there was now no need to expose the mechanism, they were enclosed in a bakelite case, and the keys were given button tops instead of being just metal tabs. It is unclear who developed the reset mechanism - an early Adix clone called the Certa had a very similar mechanism already.


My Aderes

This is my Aderes column adder. There is no serial number, and it is very difficult to say when it was produced, and it could be anywhere from the 1930s to the 1950s. It is in excellent working condition, and comes in a plain cardboard box. The instruction leaflet is missing. It has black keytops like most other Adix variants, though some Aderes-branded adders have white keytops.

Aderes Column Adder
Aderes Column Adder, Logo
Aderes Column Adder, Register
Aderes Column Adder, Clearing Lever
Aderes Column Adder, Mechanism
Aderes Column Adder, Driving Gear
Aderes Column Adder, Carry Mechanism
Aderes Column Adder, Mechanism
Aderes Column Adder, Key Plate
Aderes Column Adder, Driving Gear
Aderes Column Adder, In Box
Aderes Column Adder, Box


Below is a video I made that demonstrates how the Aderes is used and how it works.


Patents

PatentFiling datePriority dateNameDescription
US 7,07405-02-1850Parmelee, Du Bois D.Calculating Machine (Simple column adder)
US 314,56104-04-188431-03-1885Bouchet, MichaelAdding Machine (Three-digit column adder)
GB 1902 24,86812-11-190212-01-1904Postans, Arthur JamesImprovements in Adding Machines (The Adder)
GB 1904 11,30017-05-190407-07-1904Pallweber, JosephAn Improved Adding Machine (Adix without reset mechanism)
GB 1904 29,47731-12-190427-04-1905Pallweber, JosephAn Improved Adding Machine (Adix with clearing wheel)
US 1,002,26207-12-191005-09-1911Graber, Robert AlbertAdding Machine (Adix clone with clearing lever)
FR 430,84024-08-191125-11-1911Bordt, AdolfAdix with manual register for setting result, sold as Diera

Links

rechenwerkzeug.de is a German site with interesting pages about the Evolution of the Adix, How it works, and the Aderes instruction leaflet.
German Newspaper article about Johann Zähringer.
History of Computers has a page about the Adix.
rechnerlexikon.de has entries for the Aderes and the Adix.
retrocalculators.com has an Aderes page.
rechnen-ohne-strom.de is an interesting site with a page about column adders.
Informatik Sammlung Erlangen is a collection with an Aderes.
W.-G. Blümich's site includes an Aderes on its Column Adders page
Possibly Interesting History of Computing by Nathan Zeldes has a page on the Adix.


© Copyright 2016 Jaap Scherphuis, .