The Archimedes model D is a calculator with a stepped drum mechanism. It was made from 1915 until about 1935 in various versions.
Mine has a 12-column full keyboard, with a 12-digit input display. The carriage at the top contains a 16-digit register, and a 9-digit counter. The counter has a carry mechanism. It is in good condition, but some of the key tops have been replaced at some point, as the fonts are not all equal. It may also have been repainted.
Most machines have "Reinhold Pöthig, Glashütte" engraved on them, but this one does not. Instead it has on the carriage "Überlandwerk Glauchau A-G". This may indicate that it was part of a bulk order direct from the factory rather than through a reseller.
The Archimedes was slightly more compact than all the other stepped drum machines of the time. The spacing between the digits is determined by the bulkiness of the stepped drum, and in the Archimedes they managed to reduce its size. By putting the teeth of the stepped drum closer together on one side of the drum, the other side can be completely removed. This not only saves weight, it also allows them to be put even closer together, so that they share the space between them, occupying that space at different times.
The serial number of my machine is 3819. This makes it an early example, probably dating from 1915-1917.
Here is a video where I demonstrate the Archimedes model D.
This video shows the mechanism of the Archimedes model D.
Glashütte is a town in Germany, South of Dresden and close to the border with Czechia. It was a centre for the manufacturing of precision mechanics with many watch and clock manufacturers based there, beginning with Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845 who founded what was to become A. Lange & Söhne. Nomon is also based there. There are several calculator manufacturers as well, such as Arthur Burkhardt (who married Lange's daughter), and Saxonia.
In 1890 Constantin Fischer founded a company, Werkstatt für Präzisionsuhren und Feinmechanik. He made, sold, and repaired clocks, bicycles and such. In 1899 Reinhold Pöthig joined the company. The next year there were bankruptcy proceedings, Fischer left the company, and Pöthig became the sole director. Pöthig had worked in Glashütte as an apprentice for Arthur Burkhardt, and had ideas for improvements on the classic Arithmometer design that was made there. He developed his own version and began making them in 1906, and named the machines Archimedes.
By 1912 the company was only making calculators, having abandoned all other activities, so it was renamed to "Glashütter Rechenmaschinen-Fabrik Archimedes, Reinhold Pöthig". In about 1920 Hans Sabielny joined the company. He was a very effective salesman, able to determine what the customers wanted, and use that to steer the development of new models and variants. The company grew, and many different calculator models were developed. The two other Glashütte calculator companies, Arthur Burkhardt and Saxonia, merged together in 1920, but when the great depression hit in 1929 the company failed. Some of the staff joined Archimedes, which somehow managed to survive. Sabielny and Pöthig disagreed on the future of the company in those difficult economic times, and when Sabielny left in 1932 Ulrich Eichler, Pöthig's son-in-law took over his role.
After the second world war, when Germany was divided, Glashütte became part of East Germany. Reinhold Pöthig was removed from the company as it became state-controlled. Ownership of the patents and other intellectual property had however been transferred to Thea Eichler, Reinhold Pöthig's daughter, who with Ulrich Eichler and several other staff went to West Germany. There they joined the Diehl company in Nuremberg. Diehl was a foundry and press works that was founded there in 1902 by Heinrich Diehl. This company had not made calculators before, but with the knowledge from Eichner, Kiel, and others they started making models based on the Archimedes designs from 1952 onwards. Meanwhile the original Archimedes company began to make mechanical calculators for the Eastern Bloc, but without the licences these could not be exported to the West. This continued until about 1960, when they switched to making analogue calculation machines. In 1961 the company name was changed to "VEB Rechenelektronik Glashütte", and the Archimedes brand was abandoned. Eventually the company became part of Robotron, just like Mercedes-Euklid did.
The model A was first made in 1906. It was just as heavy and bulky as any other Arithmometer-type calculator of the time. The model B was identical, except that the counter had a carry mechanism. The model C and later were somewhat smaller and lighter, and had their digits closer together. The spacing between the digits is determined by the size of the stepped drums used in the mechanism. By putting the teeth of the stepped drum closer together on one side of the drum, the other side can be removed. This not only saves weight, it also allows them to be put closer together, sharing the space between them but occupying that space at different times.
Starting with the model D, many variants were produced. Not just variants with different register capacities, but also electric versions, with various amounts of automation. In the table below, I list some of them.
|A||1905-1912||H||6x7x12, 8x7x12, 8x9x16||In Belgium sold as "Ideal". Wooden case.|
|B||1908-1914||H||6x7x12, 8x7x12, 8x9x16||Like A, but has carry mechanism on counter|
|C||1913-1937||H||10x8x13, 10x9x16, 10x11x20, 12x12x24||Distance between digits reduced by a third. Metal case. Input display at first below sliders, from 1920 above sliders.|
|D||1915-1928||H||9x8x13, 9x9x16, 12x9x16, 10x11x20, 12x11x20, 12x13x24, 14x13x24||First with keyboard. Crank on the side instead of on top.|
|DL||1922-1928||H||9x8x13||Manual, automatic division. In Belgium sold as Muldivo. Replaced by H.|
|F Junior||1921-1932||H||6x6x10, 7x6x10||Sliders for input. Small capacity. Small size and weight.|
|DE||1922-1932||E||9x9x13, 9x9x16, 12x9x16, 10x11x20, 12x11x20, 12x13x24, 14x13x24||Electric motor and multiplier keys attached to right side of case.|
|DEaD||1927-1932||E||9x9x16, 10x11x20, 12x13x24||DE with automatic division|
|DF Junior||1930||H||6x6x10, 7x6x10||Small capacity|
|DLEM||1930||E||?x?x13, ?x?x16, ?x?x20||Simplified DEaD, no multiplier keys|
|GE||1931-1937||E||8x7x14, 9x9x17, 10x11x20||Electric, carriage slides without lifting|
|GEM||1932-1937||E||8x7x14, 9x9x17, 10x11x20||Electric, automatic multiplication, carriage slides without lifting|
|GEMR||1932-1937||E||Automatic carriage return and clearing (Rücklauf)|
|GEMRZ||1932-1937||E||Two registers (Zwilling)|
|H||1932-1936||H||8x6x11, 8x7x13, 8x9x16||Manual, stop division, carriage slides without lifting|
|HD||1933-1940||H||Manual, automatic division|
|HE||1933-1938||E||8x7x14, 9x9x17, 10x11x20||Electric, stop division. At first called model G|
|K||1934-1938||E||Electric but manual carriage shift, stop division|
|KT||1934-1938||E||Electric carriage shift, stop division|
|L||1937-1945||E||8x7x14, 9x9x17||Electric carriage movement and clearing, automatic division|
|LL||1937-1945||E||(8-13)x9x17, (8-13)x11x20||Wider body|
|M||1938-1944||E||Like model GEMR|
|LvM/LLvM||1938-1945||E||As L/LL but with shortcut multiplication|
|SLvM||1937-1940||E||As LvM but with printing|
|MZ||1938-1943||E||Like model GEMRZ|
|Post-war production in DDR|
|NH||1946-1953||H||8x7x14||Manual, stop division (like H)|
|NE||1948-1955||E||?x?x15, ?x?x18||Electric carriage movement and clearing, automatic division (like LK)|
|NEL||1951-1958||E||8x7x15, 9x9x18, 11x11x22|
|NHD||1954-1958||H||8x7x15, 9x9x18, 11x11x22||Manual, automatic division (like HD)|
Archimedes Diehl Vom Arithmometer zum druckenden Rechensystem
Verlag W. Sünkel
208 page softcover book
210mm × 297mm × 9mm
This book details the history and mechanisms of Archimedes and Diehl calculators, with many photographs. Available from the Wehrtechnik Museum.
Archimedes Die Geschichte einer Rechenmaschinenfabrik in Glashütte/Sachsen
Harald Schmid, Ulrich Eichler, Hellmut Hänsgen
Verlag W. Sünkel
184 page softcover book
210mm × 297mm × 10mm
This book takes a look at the evolution of the Archimedes company, contains recollections from Ulrich Eichler and Hellmut Hänsgen who worked for Archimedes, and an overview of the models that were produced. Available from the Wehrtechnik Museum.
Here is the entry for Archimedes in Illustriertes Orga-Handbuch erprobter Büromaschinen, 1921.
Here is the entry for Archimedes in Ernst Martin's book, Die Rechenmaschinen, 1925.
This is the entry in for Archimedes in Organisations-Lexicon by Walter le Coutre and Walter Thoms, 1930.
Lartly the entry in for Archimedes in Moderne Buero-Maschinen, 1931.
Here is the list of patents related to the Archimedes machines.
|Patent||Filing date||Publish date||Name||Description|
|DE 179,755||19-05-1905||20-12-1906||Reinhold Pöthig||Subtraction without bevelled gears|
|AT 61,296 B||30-12-1909||01-04-1911||Reinhold Pöthig||Two registers|
|DE 238,611||05-04-1910||28-09-1911||Reinhold Pöthig||Carry mechanism in counter (Model B)
See also: AT 56,221 B, US 1,085,480
|AT 66,061 B||02-03-1912||01-11-1912||Reinhold Pöthig||Warning bell for carry failure|
|AT 68,776 B||19-02-1914||01-12-1914||Reinhold Pöthig||Counter direction switch|
|DE 370,479||17-06-1920||03-03-1923||Reinhold Pöthig||Input sliders and display alignment (Model C)|
|DE 382,046||05-03-1921||29-01-1925||Reinhold Pöthig||Machine with two registers
See also: AT 95,728 B, CH 103,918, FR 563,614. US 1,520,438.
|DE 434,145||20-02-1925||22-09-1926||Firma Hans Sabielny||Carriage shifting mechanism (Model DE)|
|DE 457,825||28-02-1925||08-03-1928||Firma Hans Sabielny||Electric drive and multiplier keys (Model DE)|
|DE 457,826||02-05-1926||08-03-1928||Firma Hans Sabielny||Keyboard locking|
|DE 492,236||22-06-1926||06-02-1930||Firma Hans Sabielny||Automatic carriage shifting (Model DE)|
|DE 482,657||27-02-1927||29-09-1929||Firma Hans Sabielny||Automatic division (Model DEaD)|
|DE 474,305||26-04-1928||14-03-1929||Reinhold Pöthig||Carriage shifting without lifting|
|DE 508,827||18-09-1930||03-10-1930||Firma Hans Sabielny||Automatic division|
|DE 558,625||08-04-1930||05-08-1932||Firma Hans Sabielny||Semi-automatic multiplication (Model DLEM)|
|DE 584,811||29-04-1931||07-09-1933||Reinhold Pöthig||Automatic multiplication (Model GEM)|
|DE 651,567||10-02-1935||30-09-1937||Reinhold Pöthig||Shortcut multiplication (Model KT)
See also: CH 189,683
|DE 671,523||06-04-1935||26-01-1939||Ulrich Eichler; Reinhold Pöthig||Shortcut multiplication on electric calculation with multiplier keys (Model vM)
See also: CH 189,907 US 2,215,263
|CH 185,713||02-09-1935||15-08-1936||Reinhold Pöthig||Clear keyboard after multiplication/division (Model GEMRZ)|
|DE 691,445||22-09-1935||30-04-1940||Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer
See also: CH 203,473
|DE 681,954||04-08-1936||14-09-1939||Reinhold Pöthig||Carriage shift buttons (Model KT)|
|DE 895,541||20-02-1937||15-06-1939||Wilhelm Kiel; Reinhold Pöthig||Simplified input for divisions (Model L)|
|DE 697,823||24-04-1937||26-09-1940||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; Reinhold Pöthig||Shortcut multiplication (Model vM)|
|DE 702,301||24-04-1937||09-01-1941||Reinhold Pöthig||Electric shortcut multiplication (Model vM)|
|DE 696,702||31-10-1937||29-08-1940||Reinhold Pöthig; Karl Otto Reinhold Henzelmann||Back transfer
See also: CH 206,225, US 2,305,780
|CH 201,329||02-02-1938||30-11-1938||Reinhold Pöthig||Motorised carriage|
|DE 696,703||23-01-1938||29-08-1940||Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer (Model LR)
See also: CH 208,576
|DEA 86,189 AZ||18-03-1938||27-11-1941||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Shortcut multiplication (Model vM)
See also: CH 209,385
|DE 693,890||15-04-1938||20-06-1940||Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer|
|CH 206,224||25-04-1938||31-07-1939||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer|
|DE 731,154||29-05-1938||31-12-1942||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; "Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Multiplier input
See also: CH 209,676
|DE 894,467||28-06-1938||11-02-1943||Wilhelm Kiel; Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Multiplier display (Model vM)
See also: CH 211,691
|DE 745,614||18-09-1938||16-12-1943||"Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer|
|DE 882,319||25-10-1938||23-10-1941||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Clearing mechanism (Model L)
See also: CH 213,080
|DEA 88,766 AZ||12-01-1939||11-03-1943||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer
See also: CH 214,217
|DE 919,784||21-02-1939||14-05-1942||Wilhelm Kiel; Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Motorised carriage
See also: CH 214,650
|DE 698,756||09-07-1939||17-10-1940||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; Reinhold Pöthig||Electric machine with shortcut multiplication (Model vM)
See also: CH 209,192
|CH 211,517||27-07-1939||30-09-1940||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Motorised carriage|
|DE 749,096||13-08-1939||27-04-1944||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Proportional drive
See also: CH 214,941, US 2,378,560
|CH 213,464||12-02-1940||15-02-1941||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Back transfer|
|DE 760,102||16-07-1940||23-11-1944||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; "Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Disconnect during carry operation
See also: CH 222,290
|DE 746,166||02-10-1940||23-12-1943||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; "Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Printing calculator with motorised carriage movement
See also: CH 224,683
|DE 746,506||31-10-1940||06-01-1944||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; "Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Printing calculator with back transfer|
|DE 746,508||27-06-1941||06-01-1944||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; "Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Extended carry mechanism
See also: CH 225,815
|DE 916,475||02-02-1941||31-12-1952||Wilhelm Kiel; Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Shortcut multiplication
See also: CH 224,684
|DEA 93,422 AZ||12-05-1941||01-11-1948||Archimedes Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Use of multiplier register as memory|
|DE 745,992||19-07-1939||23-12-1943||"Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Automatic clearing (Model L)
See also: CH 224,997
|DE 918,783||27-08-1942||10-07-1952||Karl Berthold Wilhelm Kiel; "Archimedes" Glashütter Rechenmaschinenfabrik Reinhold Pöthig||Clearing mechanism|
|DD 13,017||27-11-1953||08-04-1957||Hellmut Hänsgen||Clearing mechanism (Model NEL)|
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