“Grimme, Natalis & Co.” during the first world war.

“GNC” had calculated with very high revenue for 1914 during the first half of the year. Due to the war, the export possibilities were reduced substantially. Already during August 1914, “GNC” started with military deliveries, and among other things it made 166.000 grenades. The heavy demands from the company made it necessary for a large part to run both day and night shifts. After investments in the factory facilities for the manufacture of war goods, from 1915 on, the company ran a profit. Apart from war articles, “GNC” initially had built calculators, which were put into storage. During the course of the war, due to many of the workers being sent to the front, and due to delivery difficulties for raw materials, the company used this stock when necessary.

In 1916, GNC established a war kitchen for support of the remaining workers. It remained in existence until 1919. In addition, during 1917 and ’18, the company operated a piggery.

During the entire first world war, the company obtained satisfactory profits due to the manufacture of war goods, and paid dividends to its shareholders. The end of the war and the revolution however, worked against the results of the company. A fast reorientation towards an increased output of calculators and the re-establishment of export activities succeeded in the second half of 1919. At this point in time, profits were again so large, that a solidarity fund for workers and employees could be established.

Due to the expansion of the product range due to the war effort, and the war-induced scarcity of food products, also after the war, “GNC” manufactured the “Grimmwolf can opener” for the opening of round and square tin cans. Apart from this a wider selection of articles was made and sold, such as typewriter tables, FORMATOR cigar rolling machines and FORMATOR slaughtering machines.

Before the war, BRUNSVIGA publicity was decidedly international, as indicated clearly by the postcard for the Leipzig building expo. The motive also found use for billboards and advertising stamps.

During the first world war and in the years afterwards, the domestic advertising especially stressed that this product was manufactured in Germany. References to the current situation were made, which suggested the buying necessity due to the war-induced shortage of personnel. For example, an advertising flyer for the BRUNSVIGA PJ 16 reads:

“An untiring, willing worker is the Trinks-BRUNSVIGA calculator. It does, without effort, precisely and correctly, all the calculations which your staff can no longer get finished due to shortages of personnel”



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