Jaap's Mechanical Calculators Page

Aderes / Adix Column Adder

Aderes Column Adder


Introduction
Calculation
My Aderes
Video
History
Advertisements and Articles
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

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



Video

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


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.

Bordt developed two other machines that were based on the Adix mechanism. Starting from about 1906 there was the Diera, which had a clearing lever and an independent extra 7-digit register on which you could manually record the results of the addition. From about 1909 they made the Kuli, which had a 12-digit register on a moving carriage to record the result automatically. It seems these were not very successful, presumably because they were not cheap but also still not proper calculators.

The company continued to make the lowly Adix machines until the 1920s, by which time Pallweber had left to invent other things, and Bordt was trying to focus the company on making a full calculating machine that he had designed.

Johann Zähringer was a manufacturer and supplier of many of the parts for the Adix, based in Schönenbach, near Furtwangen in Germany. In the 1920s he 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 into the 1950s.

These machines now had a much improved reset mechanism, with the lever on the left, and as there was now no need to expose the mechanism, they were enclosed in a bakelite case. 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.


Articles and Advertisements

I found various advertisements for the Adix in online archives, but have not found any for the later versions such as the Aderes.

1904-11-27 Berliner Tageblatt
1905-03-08 Berliner Tageblatt
1905-03-11 Satakunta
1905-05-25 Nature
1905-07-06 Keski-Suomi
1905-08-24 Algemeen Handelsblad
1905-12-22 Hamburger Nachrichten
1906-03-25 Hamburger Nachrichten
1906-03-28 Algemeen Handelsblad
1906-03-30 Algemeen Handelsblad
1906-09-26 Berliner Boersenzeitung
1907-01 Knowledge
1907-12-15 Uusi Suometar
1910-03-23 Berliner Tageblatt


Here is the entry from Ernst Martin's 1925 book Die Rechenmaschinen.

1925 Ernst Martin



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)
See also: AT 18,849 B; CH 31,794; FR 337,556; GB 1904 11,300; US 813,578.
GB 1904 29,47731-12-190427-04-1905Pallweber, JosephMechanism for adding tens directly
See also: CA 97,725; DE 173,286.
AT 34,309 B02-01-190715-04-1908Pallweber, JosephClearing mechanism for tens and hundreds wheels
US 1,002,26207-12-191005-09-1911Graber, Robert AlbertAdix clone with clearing lever
FR 430,84024-08-191125-11-1911Bordt, AdolfAdix with manual register for setting result, sold as Diera
DE 242,09314-02-1911Fischer, Heinrich; Bordt, AdolfShift result register pointer when column adder is cleared; used in Diera
AT 66,794 B13-09-191301-05-1914Bordt, AdolfKuli, Adix with register on moving carriage
See also: FR 462,519

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 ( Archived version).
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.
Cris Vandevelde has nice pictures of an early Adix, as well as a Kuli in perfect condition.


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