The Addimult Ziffrex
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The Addimult Ziffrex is an adding machine that was made in West Germany for a short period from about 1956. Superficially it is similar to the Addi 7 (or Triumphator KA). It has 7 input levers with which you can set a 7-digit number. This number is shown in the input display register at the front of the machine. When you set this number, it is simultaneously added to the 8-digit main register. The large button at the front clears the input, readying it for the next number.
To clear the main register, turn the clearing knob on the right through one full rotation, until it clicks into place. The lever on the left switches the machine between addition and subtraction mode. In subtraction mode the input number is subtracted from the register. Unfortunately, while in subtraction mode the main register is not visible since the number wheels have moved away from the display window. Switch back to addition mode to see the result. Also, it is not possible to clear the register while in subtraction mode.
It has serial number 10275, and was probably one of the last ones to be made. Most others do not have the carrying handle at the front.
The mechanism is relatively straightforward. An input lever rotates a geared segment, and that drives an intermediate wheel, which in turn drives a number wheel in the register. The intermediate wheel also has a carry arm attached, and when its associated number wheel moves from 9 to 0 or vice versa the carry arm moves the next digit wheel one step.
The input display register has number wheels which are spring loaded, and connected to their input lever by a steel wire. When the lever is moved, the wire is pulled and this rotates the connected number wheel as the wire unwraps from its spool. When the input clearing button is pressed, the main register and the intermediate wheels are lifted away from the geared segments of the input levers, freeing them, and allowing the spring-loaded input number wheels to wind up the spools, and to pull the input levers to zero.
The mechanism for subtraction is essentially the same as in the Resulta. The main register is tilted so that its wheels interact directly with the input lever segments, while the intermediate gears are moved out of the way. This causes the number wheels to rotate in the opposite direction when a lever is moved. Unlike the Resulta however, this moves the main register out of view.
The history of this machine is very unclear. I have not found any patents for it, so it is not known who developed it or when. Addimult mostly made slide adders, so it seems unlikely that the Ziffrex was completely produced within Addimult's own factory as it is such a different product. It may be that it was developed and produced for Addimult by a third party.
The machine seems to be quite rare. Here is a list of the serial numbers of all the
machines I have been able to find in various online collections:
3874, 3948, 4125, 4311, 4399, 4459, 4849
10145, 10187, 10220, 10275.
It is clear that there are two ranges of serial numbers. The first series has slightly markings on the top plate, where the lever slots only have numbers on the left side, and the white vertical separator lines have a kink so they go to the left of the number markings. The arrow near the clearing knob has also changed.
Here is a video where I demonstrate the Ziffrex.
In this video I show the mechanism.
Carl Kübler (born 1875 in Stuttgart) was an engineer in the textile industry, who decided to become an entrepreneur. He bought a patent for a small slide adder (DE695909U), and founded the Addiator company in 1920 to produce them. His son Hans-Wolfgang (born 1909 in Berlin), also started working for the company in 1935 as technical lead.
Apparently Hans-Wolfgang Kübler wanted to set out on his own. Using a set of tools that he had "rescued" from a Swiss Addiator factory shortly before the end of the war, he started small scale production of the Addimult machines in 1946 in Liechtenstein. He then moved to Sweden, then South America, back to Sweden. In 1949 he came back to Berlin to rejoin the Addiator company. His sister Margot (born 1913 in Berlin) was now head of the Addiator company, as their father had retired. With no place for him in Berlin, Hans was sent to Bad Harzburg, a town close to the border with East Germany, to oversee the branch of the company that was located there.
While the separation of Germany was being completed and contact with Addiator's Berlin headquarters was difficult, Hans somehow managed to take full control over the Bad Harzburg branch and from it founded the Addimult-Rechenmaschinenfabrik Hans W. Kübler as a direct rival to Addiator. He was granted several patents for improvements to the slide adder from 1950 onwards.
In the late 1950s the Addimult company moved to Donaueschingen, with its production in the nearby town of Hüflingen and later still Bräunlingen. In about 1973 production of normal Addimult slide adders ceased, though special adders for imperial measurements or British currency were made for a little while longer. The company had been able to diversify over the years, by making for example a self-rinsing mop or electric pencil sharpeners, and in the 1970s they began to specialize in orthopaedic products. In 1977 the company became Addimult Orthopädische Apparate GmbH, and to this day is still located in Bräunlingen. After Hans-Wolfgang Kübler died in 1987 his wife ran the company for a few years and then sold it to an employee.
I have not found any advertisements of the Addimult Ziffrex. Here are a few ads for the Addimult slide adder.
I have not found any patents relating to the Addimult Ziffrex. Hans Kübler does have several patents relating to slide adders, and these are listed below. I have not included his patents for other products.
|Patent||Filing date||Priority date||Name||Description|
|US 2,238,529||02-05-1939||15-04-1941||Hans-Wolfgang Kübler||Addiator with slide rule|
|DE 1,614,276 U||13-02-1950||15-09-1950||Hans-Wolfgang Kübler||Self-wringing mop|
|DE 1,616,976 U||11-02-1950||10-11-1950||Hans-Wolfgang Kübler||Sliders for the Addimult|
|DE 1,626,110 U||22-12-1950||04-07-1951||Hans-Wolfgang Kübler||Addimult from various materials|
|DE 1,641,043 U||17-12-1951||23-06-1952||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||addimult stand|
|DE 1,687,163 U||13-06-1952||22-10-1954||Hans-Wolfgang Kübler||Slide rule
See also: FR 1,143,490
|DE 1,693,971 U||05-07-1954||04-02-1955||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Stand for shorthand notebook|
|DE 1,700,575 U||19-11-1954||24-05-1955||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Slider guides|
|DE 1,704,847 U||13-10-1954||25-07-1955||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Clipboard|
|DE 1,711,015 U||29-03-1955||26-10-1955||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Addimult with circular slide rule on reverse|
|DE 1,864,252 U||14-07-1962||20-12-1962||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Pencil sharpener|
|DE 1,866,744 U||22-10-1962||07-02-1963||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Stand|
|DE 1,893,413 U||20-11-1963||21-05-1964||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Windscreen visor|
|DE 1,912,827 U||19-08-1964||25-03-1965||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Pencil sharpener|
|DE 1,925,127 U||01-09-1965||07-10-1965||Addimult Rechenmaschinenfabrik H.W. Kübler||Pencil sharpener|
Rechnerlexikon has a page for the
Addimult Ziffrex, for the
Addimult company, a page for
Hans-Wolfgang Kübler, and a fascinating article about
the history of Addimult.
Rechenmaschinen-Illustrated has a little info about the Addimult Ziffrex.
Arithmeum has a Ziffrex without case
Jens Aperdannier's calculator collection includes Addimult Ziffrex.
© Copyright 2020 Jaap Scherphuis, mechcalc a t jaapsch d o t net.