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:
|0-9||Digit keys for inputting numbers|
|00||Same as typing 0 twice|
|000||Same as typing 0 three times|
|C||Clear||Clears input without affecting anything else|
|+||Add||Add number to register, print number; clear input|
|-||Subtract||Subtract number from register, print number in red with a -; clear input|
|R||Repeat||Combine with + or - for repeated addition/subtraction without clearing input|
|#||Non-add||Print number with a #; clear input|
|⋄||Subtotal||Print register with a ⋄ without clearing it|
|∗||Total||Print register with a ∗; clear register|
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.
Below is a video I made that demonstrates the Olympia AE-8.
Olympia did not make any pinwheel calculators until they took over Brunsviga in 1957. The Brunsviga 13 RK pinwheel calculator lasted a few more years till 1963, and was then 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, just like almost all non-Brunsviga pinwheel calculators. It also 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||1xx||1953-1978||The 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 3/11||441||1957-1965||Like the ADE but with automatic (shortcut) multiplication|
|AKH||11xx||1957-1966||Manual basic adding machine. This was only made with a 9-digit register, 8 digits of input, model number 1182.|
|AKE||11xx||1959-1966||This 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 3/12||1132-070||1965-1972||Like AKE (1123) but with automatic multiplication.|
|RAS 4/12||1132-080||1969-1971||Like RAS 3/12 but with automatic division.|
|RAS 3/15||?||1964-1967||10-digit input, 15-digit register. Automatic multiplication. Second register with addition, subtraction, backtransfer.|
|RAS 4/15||?||1965-1971||10-digit input, 15-digit register. Automatic (shortcut) multiplication and division. Memory register with backtransfer.|
|AE||21x3||1967-1974||Electrically 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.|
|AH||2113||1967-1974||Manually driven. Only available with 11-digit register.|
|AM||1970-1975||The 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 16||1960-1965||Electrically driven calculator with automatic multiplication and division. 8×8×16, extra constants register.|
|RA 20||1964-1965||As RA 16 but larger capacity 10×11×20.|
|13 RM||1964-1970||10×8×13. Standard manual pinwheel design with back transfer. Considered the replacement of the Brunsviga 13 RK. Also sold under the Minerva brand name.|
|RT 4||1970-1971||10×8×13. Manual calculator similar to Facit CM2-16.|
Olympia Dreispezies-Rechenmaschine Modell RAS 3/11 Gebrauchsanleitung (PDF, 10.3 MB or archive.org)
Olympia Werke AG
26 page stapled booklet
148mm × 210mm
This is the German manual for the RAS 3/11 adding machine. The booklet has no copyright date, but this model was made from 1957 till 1965.
Olympia Vierspezies-Rechenautomat mit Speicherwerk RAS 4/15 Bedienungsanleitung (PDF, 11.3 MB or archive.org)
Olympia Werke AG
36 page stapled booklet
149mm × 210mm
This is the German manual for the RAS 4/15 calculator. The booklet has no copyright date, but this model was made from 1965 till 1971.
Blindrechnen kinderleicht (PDF, 4.75 MB or archive.org)
Olympia Werke AG
14 page stapled booklet
148mm × 210mm
This is an exercise booklet, listing various additions and subtractions that you can enter in order to become familiar with the keyboard of the Olympia adding machine. There were even exercise keyboards without mechanism available, similar to the Comptometer Educator. The booklet has no copyright date, but the cover shows the model AKE which was made between 1959 and 1966.
Reziproke Zahlen 1-1500 (PDF, 3.72 MB or archive.org)
6 page stapled booklet
147mm × 210mm
This booklet contains a table of reciprocals of the numbers 1 to 1500. Instead of dividing by one of the numbers 1 to 1500 you can use this table to look up the reciprocal and mutiply by that. The booklet has no copyright date, but presumably was printed some time in the 1960s.
This is a selection of the Olympia patents related to calculators.
|Patent||Filing date||Published date||Name||Description|
|DE 825,316||08-07-1949||17-12-1951||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Electric motor (de)activation
See also: CH 293,470
|DE 839,270||08-07-1949||19-05-1952||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Allow input during calculation
See also: CH 297,466 FR 1,032,517 GB 730,711
|DE 839,274||08-07-1949||19-05-1952||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Rectifier mechanism|
|DE 851,267||08-07-1949||02-10-1952||Olympia Bümaschinenwerke; Hans Martin||Printer locking mechanism|
|DE 907,949||08-07-1949||01-04-1954||Olympia Bümaschinenwerke; Hans Martin||Key top
See also: CH 218,681 FR 870,030
|DE 914,560||08-07-1949||05-07-1954||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Allow input during calculation|
|DE 916,235||08-07-1949||05-08-1954||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger||Allow input during calculation|
|DE 918,966||01-03-1952||07-10-1954||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Carriage for printing 2 columns
See also: CH 314,042 US 2,686,584
|DE 921,363||08-07-1949||16-12-1954||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Handling negative totals
See also: CH 288,479
|DE 923,813||08-07-1949||21-02-1955||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger||Locking during calculation|
|DE 945,121||08-07-1949||28-06-1956||Olympia Werke; Hans Martin||Printing mechanism|
|DE 966,529||11-11-1949||14-08-1957||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Printing mechanism
See also: GB 707,645
|DE 976,184||08-12-1949||09-05-1963||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Otto Hirt||Allow input during calculation
See also: AT 174,752 B
|DE 969,056||11-11-1950||22-05-1958||Olympia Werke; Karl Westinger; Ernst Altenburger; Otto Hirt||Printing mechanism|
|DE 933,535||04-11-1952||29-09-1955||Olympia Werke; Arno Uhlig; Werner Uhlig||Simplified input printing mechanism
See also: CH 316,451
|DE 955,005||11-10-1952||27-12-1956||Olympia Werke; Eugen Kuhn||Swiveling Printing mechanism (RAS)
See also: CH 316,820
|DE 963,379||07-03-1953||05-05-1957||Olympia Werke; Arno Uhlig; Werner Uhlig||Input mechanism
See also: CH 325,159 FR 1,113,963
|DE 1,061,101||02-07-1953||09-07-1959||Olympia Werke; Arno Uhlig; Werner Uhlig||Automatic decimal point|
|DE 1,079,361||02-08-1955||07-04-1960||Olympia Werke; Hans Werner Springer||British currency|
|DE 1,088,269||05-05-1954||01-09-1960||Olympia Werke; Karl Leich; Otto Modersohn; Kurt Ziegenhals||Electric keyboard|
|DE 1,115,966||22-08-1957||26-11-1961||Olympia Werke; Eugen Kuhn||Shortcut multiplication|
|DE 1,122,302||05-03-1957||18-01-1962||Olympia Werke; Willibald Haninger; Erwin Glatz||Input mechanism|
|DE 1,182,885||12-04-1961||03-12-1964||Olympia Werke; Karl Leich; Fred Böcker||Carriage shift mechanism (13 RM)|
|DE 1,206,184||03-03-1959||02-12-1965||Olympia Werke; Paul Thevis||Carry mechanism (RAS 3/15)
See also: CH 377,132
|DE 1,242,906||12-04-1961||22-06-1967||Olympia Werke; Heinz Ricke; Hans-Joachim Bauermeister||Input clearing (13 RM)|
|DE 1,424,661||06-03-1962||10-07-1969||Olympia Werke; Rolf Paland; Hans-Joachim Becker||Split stepped drum|
|DE 1,474,678||06-12-1965||10-07-1969||Olympia Werke; Eugen Kuhn||Connection to multiplier register|
|DE 1,524,056||06-05-1966||04-12-1969||Olympia Werke; Helmut Bresslein||Automatic multiplication (RAS 3/12)|
|DE 1,953,120||22-10-1969||29-04-1971||Olympia Werke; Paul Thevis||Carry mechanism|
|DE 1,627,661 U||09-08-1951||05-10-1954||Olympia Werke||Sideways swivelling printer casing|
|DE 1,657,992 U||27-05-1953||25-06-1953||Olympia Werke||Keyboard with large zero buttons|
|DE 1,706,912 U||26-08-1954||15-09-1955||Olympia Werke||Keyboard layout
See also: FR 1,058,710 GB 716,830
|DE 1,753,807 U||26-08-1954||10-10-1957||Olympia Werke||Actuator mechanism|
|DE 1,798,479 U||05-01-1956||22-10-1959||Olympia Werke||Switching mechanism|
|DE 1,918,458 U||04-11-1963||24-06-1965||Olympia Werke||Carry mechanism|
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