The Record calculator uses a stepped drum mechanism, but introduced three clever innovations when it was first made in 1913:
This Record calculator has 9 keyboard columns, with an input display register above it, and a movable carriage containing an 8-digit counter and a 13-digit main register. On top of the left end of the carriage is a handle with which you can tilt up the carriage and shift it from side to side. There are clearing knobs to the right of the register and counter which only work if you lift up the carriage. The handle is also a selection lever for addition and subtraction. The small lever to the right of the keyboard clears the input if it is pulled forward, and can be shifted left or right to deactivate or activate the automatic keyboard clearing.
The serial number of this machine is 1792, and this number can be found when you shift the carriage to the right, and stamped on many parts, including the inside of the bottom and rear case plates, and the stem of the crank.
The mechanism of the Record is arranged in an unusual way. The stepped drums are on vertical axles at the rear of the machine, with adjacent drums at different heights so that they can be close together without interfering with each other. The sliding gears that interact with the stepped drums are set by a simple lever that is directly controlled by the keys. On previous stepped drum machines the number wheels were gears on vertical axles, which were driven by bevel gears on horizontal axles. Here that whole transmission mechanism is turned upside down. The number wheels are on horizontal axles, with bevel gears that are driven by the gear at the top of vertical driving axles.
The Record Universal Rechenmaschine was designed by Hugo Cordt of Nordenham, Germany. It was first manufactured in 1913, in the nearby city of Oldenburg by Nordenhammer Rechenmachinen A.G.. It may well be that this company was set up by Cordt himself, but this did not last as the next year production of the Record was transferred to H. Öhlmann & Co., who moved that production to Berlin. During this time they were distributed by Bernhard Behr & Co. (see also Seidel und Naumann). In 1917 Behr died, and his distribution company folded.
In about 1921 the rights and manufacturing of the Record calculator were taken over by Carl Lindström AG. This company was founded by Carl Lindström who started making phonographs (early record players) and parlographs (early dictation machines) in 1893. The company eventually also had a recording studio to make the recordings, and started the record label Parlophon which became internationally known as Parlophone. The Parlophone logo which is often thought to be a pound sign is actually a cursive L for Lindström.
The calculator made by Lindström was renamed the Lindström Record. In Germany it was distributed by Roneo GmbH, which already distributed Lindström's other machines. Roneo GmbH was the German distribution and sales company for Roneo Ltd., a British company best known for the Roneo duplication machine. Lindström stopped manufacturing the Record in about 1929, but apparently Roneo continued selling remaining stock till about 1931.
Hugo Cordt was briefly involved with the Lindström production, but left to join Ernst Kuhrt and help the development of his machines. After that folded in 1927, they went on to build the Cordt Triplex, or Cordt Universal, a printing calculator.
There was really only one main model which was available in several capacities. In the table below are all the Record machines that I have found pictures of online and for which the serial number is known.
|434||9×8×13||Engraved with "Universal Rechenmachine Record; Fabrikanten H.Oehlmann & Co., Berlin" and with reseller Bernhard Behr & Co.|
|746||9×8×13||Engraved with logo Universal Rechenmachine Record, plaque of reseller J.E.A. Peper.|
|1792||9×8×13||Decals of Lindström Record, and reseller Ernst Jost.|
|1807||9×8×13||No decals remain, plaque of reseller Ernst Jost.|
|2802||9×8×13||No decals remain.|
|2813||9×9×16||No decals remain.|
|3227||9×8×13||Decals of Lindström Record, and reseller Roneo.|
|3437||9×8×13||Decal of Roneo.|
|4040||9×9×16||Engraved Lindström Record, decal of Roneo.|
|5038||12×8×16||Lindström Record engraved in carriage since no room next to keys.|
|5908||9×9×16||Engraved Lindström Record.|
|6087||9×8×13||Engraved Lindström Record.|
|6267||9×8×13||Engraved Lindström Record, decal of Roneo.|
|6621||9×8×13||Engraved Lindström Record.|
|6897||9×8×13||Probably repainted. Plaque of reseller G. David, Paris.|
In the article "Hugo Cordt und Ernst Kuhrt" by Martin Reese (Historische Bürowelt, Nr. 96, July 2014) several Record machines are shown or described, and those are not included in the list above. I also have not listed any serial numbers that do not have a picture of the machine itself.
There seems to be hardly any mechanical difference between the machines on the list above. The most important difference is that earlier machines including mine do not have an overflow signal bell, but it was added some time between #1807 and #2813. In Ernst Martin's 1925 book Die Rechenmaschine, there is an illustration of an early version, in which the crank sticks out of the right hand side at right angles, but I don't know if such a machine survives. It may be a prototype, or one made made by Nordenhammer Rechenmachinen before Öhlmann became involved.
It is unclear what happened between 1917, when Bernhard Behr died, and 1921, when Lindström started manufacturing the Record. In the aforementioned article in HBW96, it is stated that machine #787 had a Roneo decal, and that this means that it was a Lindström machine from 1921. If that is true, then production was halted for those four years, and only about 750 pre-Lindström machines were made. Another possibility is that Cordt found in Roneo a new distributor for the calculators, and then via Roneo he found Lindström to take over production. It is not clear why production was transferred away from Öhlmann. In this scenario there could be more than 800 pre-Lindström machines. The Lindström numbering may have started at about 1500 regardless of how many machines had been made before that.
In the US the Record was imported by Doty Business Machines, and they also supplied an electric motor attachment that could be bolted onto the right hand side, replacing the hand crank and supplying multiplier keys. I have not found any online examples of these still in existence.
Various mechanisms were explored for shifting the carriage more easily. One such mechanism was already illustrated in 1921 in the Orga-Handbuch of Brauner and Vogt, where a knob is shown at the front left, very similar to the Monroe calculator. The carriage has a narrow extension to the left with a comb structure underneath it to make this work. The American Digest Of Business Machines of 1924 has a photo of such a machine, but it is unclear whether this version was ever commercially available. In Ernst Martin is an illustration of a machine with two buttons on the front-left for shifting the carriage, and the HBW96 article shows one such with serial number #6744. There is also one with serial number #6027 that instead used two levers to the left of the keyboard.
A few articles and ads related Carl Lindström AG or Roneo, but not the Record calculator.
Here are the ones related to the calculator. There is very little to be found of the pre-Lindström calculator.
Lastly some articles about Hugo Cordt's next machine, the Cordt Triplex.
|Patent||Filing date||Publish date||Name||Description|
|DE 160,250||01-06-1904||08-05-1905||Hugo Cordt||Direct multiplication|
|DE 199,045||18-12-1906||06-06-1908||Hugo Cordt||Direct multiplication
See also: DE 219,058, FR 403,329, GB 1909/11,650.
|DE 230,837||15-02-1910||09-02-1911||Hugo Cordt||Direct multiplication
See also: AT 60,353 B, CH 53,612, CA 145,391, DE 236,453, DE 254,505, FR 417,841, GB 1910/16,261, US 1,047,391.
|DE 256,315||31-12-1911||05-02-1913||Hugo Cordt||Record
See also: AT 72,111 B, CH 64,270, CH 65,163, DE 275,176, FR 452,489, GB 1912/29,959, US 1,158,374.
|DE 281,408||18-02-1913||05-01-1915||Hugo Cordt||Keyboard
See also: US 1,119,404.
|DE 350,953||25-10-1919||29-03-1922||Carl Lindström AG||Carriage shift mechanism|
|DE 394,336||18-07-1922||17-04-1924||Carl Lindström AG||Carriage shift mechanism|
|DE 405,738||30-08-1922||08-11-1924||Carl Lindström AG||Keyboard locking mechanism|
|DE 406,799||15-09-1922||01-12-1924||Carl Lindström AG||Keyboard locking mechanism|
|DE 411,754||01-11-1923||04-04-1925||Carl Lindström AG||Lighter carriage shift|
|DE 416,568||08-06-1923||20-07-1925||Carl Lindström AG||Printing mechanism|
|DE 491,632||18-08-1928||14-02-1930||Hugo Cordt||Printing mechanism
See also: AT 122,661 B, CH 140,463, GB 217,398, US 1,533,393.
|GB 338,594||22-08-1929||24-11-1930||Hugo Cordt||Printing of multipliers
See also: US 1,910,201.
|DE 603,170||11-05-1933||24-09-1934||Hugo Cordt||Printing mechanism|
|AT 151,778 B||19-02-1937||10-12-1937||Hugo Cordt||Multiple registers
See also: CH 193,672, GB 475,765.
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