Jaap's Mechanical Calculators Page


Olympia AE-8 Minerva

Olympia AE-8

Olympia AE-8

The Olympia AE-8 is an electrically driven adding listing machine with a 10-key keyboard. It has an 8-digit register, and allows 7 digits of input. There were also versions AE-11 and AE-13 with larger registers, AH models which were manually driven rather than electric, as well as versions for British currency and for other non-decimal calculations.

This machine was made from 1967 until 1974. The controls keys were standardised by then, so it is used in almost exactly the same way as any other contemporary adding-listing machine:

0-9Digit keys for inputting numbers
00Same as typing 0 twice
000Same as typing 0 three times
CClearClears input without affecting anything else
+AddAdd number to register, print number; clear input
-SubtractSubtract number from register, print number in red with a -; clear input
RRepeatCombine with + or - for repeated addition/subtraction without clearing input
#Non-addPrint number with a #; clear input
SubtotalPrint register with a ⋄ without clearing it
TotalPrint register with a ∗; clear register
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8

There is cover that is easily removed, giving access to the ink ribbon. The machine takes a standard half-inch wide two-colour ink ribbon. It is quie fiddly to change the ribbon because the access hole is a little too small. In 1969 the case was redesigned so that the hole upper section lifts off, which makes replacing the ribbon much easier.

The model number on this machine is 2173-060, and it has serial number 89,245.

Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8
Olympia AE-8


Below is a video I made that demonstrates the Olympia AE-8.


The Brunsviga 13 RK pinwheel calculator lasted a few more years till 1963, and replaced by the much more conventional pinwheel model Olympia 13 RM. It no longer has the counter in the body of the machine, but instead it is located in the carriage to the left of the main register like almost all non-Brunsviga pinwheel calculators. It has a back transfer mechanism.

The Olympia 13 RM was mostly manufactured in Spain, and the ones sold in Spain itself used the brand name Minerva. Other than the name, the Minerva is identical to the Olympia-Brunsviga 13 RM.

It has its 8-digit revolution counter in the carriage, to the left of the 13-digit results register. The add/subtract switch is shifted to a neutral position when the counter is cleared, and the direction of the next turn of the crank shifts it to the correct state. To do a back transfer, first clear the input, push down the back-transfer button which is located to the right of the register, and then clear the register.


This Minerva has serial number 30091, and is in reasonable condition. It works correctly, except that the back-transfer mechanism does not always quite push the input pins back to their correct places.

After removing the four rubber feet the bottom plate comes free. This gives access to the screws on the sides that keep the top part of the casing in place.



The Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) was a German company that was founded in 1883 in Berlin, and which made mostly electrical goods. The engineer Friedrich von Hefner-Alteneck had many inventions to his name from his time working at Siemens, but in 1897 he joined AEG. While there he came up with the Mignon typewriter (US 914,272) which was put into prouction in 1903. Although these typewriters were branded AEG, a daughter company was set up for the typewriter business, the Union Schreibmaschinengesellschaft. In 1923 it was renamed AEG Deutsche Werke and moved to Erfurt in Thuringia, and in 1930 it was renamed Europa Schreibmaschinen. After their new Olympia model typewriter became successful, the company was renamed yet again in 1936 to Olympia Büromaschinenwerke.

In the second world war the factory in Erfurt was used for the German war effort, and was almost completely destroyed. Erfurt was in the Soviet occupied region of Germany, and a number of employees moved to the West and rebuilt the company in Wilhelmshaven where there was a large unemployed workforce to draw on. It was now called Olympia Werke, and was still a subsidiary of AEG. Up to this point they had only made typewriters, but in 1953 they started making adding machines for the first time.

In 1957 Olympia Werke bought Brunsviga. Two years later the merger was complete, and almost all of Brunsviga's calculator models were soon discontinued in favour of a larger production capacity of the Olympia models. Olympia became the largest office machine manufacturer in Germany, but in the 1970s the transition towards electronics was difficult and AEG was having a financial downturn due to the higher labour costs in Germany and poor exchange rates for export. When AEG was finally bought by Daimler-Benz in 1985, the company was reorganised and the Olympia brand was sold off.


The Olympia adding machines have an exact model designation consisting of 3 or 4 digits representing the base model, with a 3-digit suffix representing the variant. This model designation can be found next to the serial number. After the acquisition of Brunsviga, the machines were given model names consisting of letters, but these were only used for marketing only. They still had the numerical model designation as well - even newly developed models had a commercial name and an internal numerical name.

In most cases, each of the three digits in the suffix have a specific meaning:

||Extra register and its functionality: 0=no extra register
|Drive: 3=manual; 6=electric; 9=dual manual/electric
Printing type: 0=paper roll; 1,2,3=24cm carriage; 6,7,8=33cm carriage; 9=46cm carriage

The first Olympia adding machine was later called the ADE. It had a variety of numerical names, depending on the capaciity of its register capacity, whether it had double/triple zero buttons, and its case design. It was very successful, and remained in production even as other models were developed and produced. The table below lists the most important models.

ADE 1xx1953-1978The first versions were the models 122 and 132, which differ only in the added double/triple zero buttons. It had a 12-digit register, 11 digits of input. Versions with 7, 8, or 9 digits of input had model numbers 172, 182, 192 respectively, or 173, 183, 193 if they has the extra zero buttons.
RAS 3/114411957-1965Like the ADE but with automatic (shortcut) multiplication
AKH11xx1957-1966Manual basic adding machine. This was only made with a 9-digit register, 8 digits of input, model number 1182.
AKE11xx1959-1966This is the electric version of the AKH. Versions with 8, 9, 11 digits of input had model numbers 1182, 1192, 1122 respectively, or 1183, 1193, 1123 with extra zero buttons.
RAS 3/121132-0701965-1972Like AKE (1123) but with automatic multiplication.
RAS 4/121132-0801969-1971Like RAS 3/12 but with automatic division.
RAS 3/15?1964-196710-digit input, 15-digit register. Automatic multiplication. Second register with addition, subtraction, backtransfer.
RAS 4/15?1965-197110-digit input, 15-digit register. Automatic (shortcut) multiplication and division. Memory register with backtransfer.
AE21x31967-1974Electrically driven adding machine. Available with 8, 9, 10, 11, or 13-digit register, one fewer digit of input. Model numbers are 2173, 2183, 2193, 2113, and 2143 respectively.
AH21131967-1974Manually driven. Only available with 11-digit register.
AM1970-1975The AM 209 had an 8-digit input, 9-digit register. Most parts made of plastic.

Until the acquisition of Brunsviga, Olympia had not produced any non-printing calculators. They discontinued most of the Brunsviga models, but did continue the production of the Brunsviga 13 RK till 1963, and developed various new models.

RA 161960-1965Electrically driven calculator with automatic multiplication and division. 8×8×16, extra constants register.
RA 201964-1965As RA 16 but larger capacity 10×11×20.
13 RM1964-197010×8×13. Standard manual pinwheel design with back transfer. Considered the replacement of the Brunsviga 13 RK.
RT 41970-197110×8×13. Manual calculator similar to Facit CM2-16.


1923-11 Typewriter Topics
1929-12 Office Appliances
1951-12 Office Appliances
1957-08 Office Appliances
1963-10 The Office


1908-01-16 De Sumatra post
1911-05-08 Leeuwarder courant
1911-07 Herald of the Golden Age
1911-11-04 Het nieuws van den dag
1912-08-31 Academy and Literature
1937-10-09 Twentsch dagblad Tubantia
1954-09-25 Algemeen Dagblad
1954-10-23 De Volkskrant
1955-04-23 Algemeen Handelsblad
1955-04-23 De Tijd
1955-04-30 Dagblad voor Noord-Limburg
1955-09-03 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden
1955-10-15 De nieuwe Limburger
1956-01-18 Deventer dagblad
1956-03-10 Het Parool
1956-04-14 Het Parool
1956-11-24 De nieuwe Limburger
1957-04-13 De Volkskrant
1957-09-21 Het Parool
1957-10-26 Algemeen Handelsblad
1958-11-29 Algemeen Handelsblad
1959-12-05 Dagblad voor Noord-Limburg
1960-10-22 Algemeen Dagblad
1961-12-09 Algemeen Dagblad
1967-04 International Business Equipment
1970-05 International Business Equipment
1971-03 The Office
1972-02 The Office


This is a selection of the Olympia patents related to calculators.

PatentFiling datePublished dateNameDescription
DE 825,31608-07-194917-12-1951Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtElectric motor (de)activation
See also: CH 293,470
DE 839,27008-07-194919-05-1952Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtAllow input during calculation
See also: CH 297,466 FR 1,032,517 GB 730,711
DE 839,27408-07-194919-05-1952Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtRectifier mechanism
DE 851,26708-07-194902-10-1952Olympia Bümaschinenwerke; Hans MartinPrinter locking mechanism
DE 907,94908-07-194901-04-1954Olympia Bümaschinenwerke; Hans MartinKey top
See also: CH 218,681 FR 870,030
DE 914,56008-07-194905-07-1954Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtAllow input during calculation
DE 916,23508-07-194905-08-1954Olympia Werke; Karl WestingerAllow input during calculation
DE 918,96601-03-195207-10-1954Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtCarriage for printing 2 columns
See also: CH 314,042 US 2,686,584
DE 921,36308-07-194916-12-1954Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtHandling negative totals
See also: CH 288,479
DE 923,81308-07-194921-02-1955Olympia Werke; Karl WestingerLocking during calculation
DE 945,12108-07-194928-06-1956Olympia Werke; Hans MartinPrinting mechanism
DE 966,52911-11-194914-08-1957Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtPrinting mechanism
See also: GB 707,645
DE 976,18408-12-194909-05-1963Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Otto HirtAllow input during calculation
See also: AT 174,752 B
DE 969,05611-11-195022-05-1958Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto HirtPrinting mechanism
DE 933,53504-11-195229-09-1955Olympia Werke; Arno Uhlig; Werner UhligSimplified input printing mechanism
See also: CH 316,451
DE 955,00511-10-195227-12-1956Olympia Werke; Eugen KuhnSwiveling Printing mechanism (RAS)
See also: CH 316,820
DE 963,37907-03-195305-05-1957Olympia Werke; Arno Uhlig; Werner UhligInput mechanism
See also: CH 325,159 FR 1,113,963
DE 1,061,10102-07-195309-07-1959Olympia Werke; Arno Uhlig; Werner UhligAutomatic decimal point
DE 1,079,36102-08-195507-04-1960Olympia Werke; Hans Werner Springer British currency
DE 1,088,26905-05-195401-09-1960Olympia Werke; Karl Leich; Otto Modersohn; Kurt ZiegenhalsElectric keyboard
DE 1,115,96622-08-195726-11-1961Olympia Werke; Eugen KuhnShortcut multiplication
DE 1,122,30205-03-195718-01-1962Olympia Werke; Willibald Haninger; Erwin GlatzInput mechanism
DE 1,182,88512-04-196103-12-1964Olympia Werke; Karl Leich; Fred BöckerCarriage shift mechanism (13 RM)
DE 1,206,18403-03-195902-12-1965Olympia Werke; Paul ThevisCarry mechanism (RAS 3/15)
See also: CH 377,132
DE 1,242,90612-04-196122-06-1967Olympia Werke; Heinz Ricke; Hans-Joachim BauermeisterInput clearing (13 RM)
DE 1,424,66106-03-196210-07-1969Olympia Werke; Rolf Paland; Hans-Joachim BeckerSplit stepped drum
DE 1,474,67806-12-196510-07-1969Olympia Werke; Eugen KuhnConnection to multiplier register
DE 1,524,05606-05-196604-12-1969Olympia Werke; Helmut BressleinAutomatic multiplication (RAS 3/12)
DE 1,953,12022-10-196929-04-1971Olympia Werke; Paul ThevisCarry mechanism
DE 1,627,661 U09-08-195105-10-1954Olympia WerkeSideways swivelling printer casing
DE 1,657,992 U27-05-195325-06-1953Olympia WerkeKeyboard with large zero buttons
DE 1,706,912 U26-08-195415-09-1955Olympia WerkeKeyboard layout
See also: FR 1,058,710 GB 716,830
DE 1,753,807 U26-08-195410-10-1957Olympia WerkeActuator mechanism
DE 1,798,479 U05-01-195622-10-1959Olympia WerkeSwitching mechanism
DE 1,918,458 U04-11-196324-06-1965Olympia WerkeCarry mechanism


Rechner Lexikon has a lot of information, including a page about Olympia, a page about the AE-8, the 13 RM, an article about the history of Olympia, an article about the Olympia adding machines, and a table of Olympia models.
Rechenmaschinen Illustrated has few Olympia machines.
Christian Hamann has a Mignon typewriter, an Olympia 1182, an Olympia RAS-12, and an Olympia AE-8.
The Arithmeum has many Olympia machines in its collection: 112-030, 122-060, 122-160, 122-861, 132-261, 132-263, 132-264, 132-760, 132-764, 182-060, 192-060, 192-030, 1192-060, RA 16, RA 20, RAS 3/12, RAS 4/15, RT 4, AE 8, AM 209.

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