Jaap's Mechanical Calculators Page

Multifix

Multifix E1R



The Multifix E1R
Video
History and Models
Articles and Advertisements
Links

The Multifix E1R

The Multifix E1R is a very small desk calculator made in Norway from 1954 to about 1960. It uses an oscillating segment mechanism very similar to the EOS or the Demos. It has a 6-digit input register on a carriage, and an 11-digit register and a 6-digit counter on a common axle. This E1R model has a back transfer mechanism, but the earlier E1 model did not.

Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R


The controls are: Multifix controls

I) Input wheelsSet the input number
H) Crank handlePull forward (Cf) and push back (Cb) to perform an action (addition, subtraction, clearing). Handle can be folded flat for storage.
A) Add/Sub switchSelect addition (Ab) or subtraction (Af)
M) Mode leverSelect mode - calculation mode (Ml), clear counter mode (Mm), clear all mode (Mr)
C) C buttonFor clearing the input
R) R buttonBack transfer button
S) Carriage shiftButtons to shift the carriage one step left or right, and a tab to release the carriage and shift by any amount.
D) Counter DirectionSet counter to count additions (Dl) or subtractions (Dr)

Their use is not immediately obvious, so here are the various sequences for performing various actions:

Addition/Subtraction
    Ml A I Hf Hb
Set calculation mode
Set Add/Sub switch appropriately
Set the input number
Pull+push crank handle
Multiplication
    Ml Ab Dl I (Hf Hb Sl)
Set calculation mode
Set Add/Sub switch to +
Set counter direction to additions
Set the input number
Pull+push crank handle and shift carriage left
Clear Counter
    Mm Hf Hb
Set mode to counter clear
Pull+push crank handle
Clear Counter and Register
    Mr Hf Hb
Set mode to clear all
Pull+push crank handle
Clear Counter and Input
    Mm Hf C+ Hb C-
Set mode to counter clear
Pull crank handle
Press C button
Push crank handle
Release C button
Clear Counter, Register, and Input
    Mr Hf C+ Hb C-
Set mode to clear all
Pull crank handle
Press C button
Push crank handle
Release C button
Division
    Ml Af Dr I (Hf Hb Sr)
Set calculation mode
Set Add/Sub switch to -
Set counter direction to subtractions
Set the input number
Pull+push crank handle and shift carriage right
Back Transfer
    Mm Ab Dl Hf C+ Hb C-
Set mode to counter clear
Clear input (and counter) if necessary
Set Add/Sub switch to +
Set counter direction to additions
Press R button
Pull crank handle
Release R button
Push crank handle
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R
Multifix E1R


The serial number on the front edge is 72,282. The Multifix serial numbers seem to fall in four separate ranges: 2000+, 60,000+, 70,000+, 90,000+. The first two ranges are model E1, the last two E1R. It is not clear how many machines were made.


Video

Below is a video I made that demonstrates the Multifix.




History and Models

Den Norske Stansefabrik was founded in Oslo in 1932, and was a company that specialised in manufacturing pressed sheetmetal parts. It moved its factory to Lillesand in 1946, though it kept the Oslo address as an office for some time.

In the late 1940s Villy Spångberg, a Swedish engineer, joined the company. He may have worked at the Original-Odhner division of Facit, but that is not confirmed. He apparently designed the Multifix calculator shown above, though I have not found any patents for this. It was manufactured from 1954 until the early 1960s. It was relatively successful, though it seems to me that the company lacked the marketing department and sales contacts to fully market it. There were two models, the E1 and the E1R. The latter has a back transfer mechanism that the former lacks. It is not known how many were made.

After that Spångberg designed an adding listing machine called the Compta, made from 1960 till 1963. There were three model types, each available as a hand driven or electrically driven version. The Compta was not successful, and production was spun off to a separate company that subsequently went bankrupt.

Model Capacity Remarks
Multifix E1 6x6x11 No back transfer. Usually green, some grey.
Multifix E1R 6x6x11 With back transfer. Usually grey.
 
Compta I 8x0x8 Simplest, cheapest Compta model
Compta II 10x0x11 Prints negative numbers in red
Compta III Duplex10x0x(11+11)As Compta II but with extra register

Den Norske Stansefabrik began to decline until it finally went bankrupt in 1985. The former employees managed to raise enough investment to buy the company and restart it with the name Stansefabrikken Lillesand AS. It became successful again, and now consists of the parent company Stafa Industrier AS with several Stansefabrikken subsidiaries, making various metal products from electrical cabinets and post boxes to car parts.


Articles and Advertisements

Here are a few ads and articles from Norwegian newspapers.

1954-01-02 Østlands-Posten
1954-01-04 Ringerikes Blad
1954-06-18 Fredriksstad Blad
1955-05-23 Dalane Tidende
1955-10-22 Hardanger
1955-11-12 Nordlands Framtid
1955-11-24 Sandefjords Blad
1956-01-27 Sogn og Fjordane
1960-03-10 Arbeiderbladet
1961-02-14 Samhold (Gjøvik)
1962-03-05 Arbeiderbladet
1964-01-21 Grimstad Adressetidende
1964-04-29 Rogalands Avis



Links

Stansefabrikken has a company history that mentions the Multifix.
Wikipedia has an entry for Stafa Industrier.
Rechnerlexikon has a pages for the Multifix, the Compta, the manufacturer Den Norske Stansefabrik , and some extra material.
Rechenmaschinen-Illustrated has a Multifix page.
Rechnen Ohne Strom is an interesting site that has a page about other types of 4-species calculators that contains an entry for the Multifix.
John Wolff has a page with small calculators including the Multifix.
Cris Vande Velde has both versions of the Multifix, as well as a translated manual.
Norsk Teknisk Museum has a Multifix.
Computarium has pictures of the Multifix.
Museo Ciencia of the Public University of Navarre has a Multifix.


© Copyright 2021 Jaap Scherphuis, .