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Known short crank Brunsviga machines

A picture exists in the Rechnerlexikon of a short crank Brunsviga B with a top plate that has been replaced much later. There is no serial number visible.

Brunsviga-without-serial-number

The earliest known Brunsviga was sold in 2002 by Auction team Kln. It is N 73. Picture Auction Team Kln.

The next known machine was found by me on a trip to Vancouver, it's N 110

I was contacted by email by the owner of N 131. It has been privately owned in Australia for the past 20 years - it's earlier history is unknown. There is no bell, and no dealer decal on the back. Pictures by owner.

Brunsviga N 131Brunsviga N 131

N 159 is in the Tekniska Museet in Stockholm. There is also a picture of it in the Rechnerlexikon (picture Tekniska Museet, Stockholm):

Brunsviga N 159

Do note that Brunsviga N 159 has a bell - it is the first known machine with what would probably have been this optional extra. Also, the museum was able to provide me with some of its history. The machine was donated to the museum on Feb. 19th 1929 by an engineer at tvidabergs Stockholm Office, August Jansson, who must have realised its historical significance. The tvidaberg office probably received it in part exchange for a new Facit. Jansson sent a letter to the museum accompanying the calculator stating that it was first sold to a forester in Eberswalde, and subsequently sent to the Weichbrodt Company in Stockholm. It finally landed with the de Lavals Turbine Works in Saltsj-Jrla near Stockholm and was in use there up to 1929. You can see a picture of the factory, still exant, here, it is a beautiful building now converted to a conference centre.

N 167 surfaced in an ebay auction in the UK. It has no bell, and the patent text on the side and sales agent name and address on the back are identical to N 110. Images ebay seller great4less.

ebay Brunsviga N167

ebay Brunsviga N 167-2

ebay Brunsviga N 167-3

N 202A has an extra A behind the serial number. Image courtesy of rechenmaschinen-illustrated.com

N 214A was also sold by Breker in 2004 - pictures Auction Team Kln. The locking button for the carriage appears to be a later type, and a comma slider bar was added.

Brunsviga n 214A picture 1

Brunsviga n 214A picture 2

Intriguingly, also N 224A has the A in the serial number. It is currently in a private collection in the UK. Pictures by owner, used with permission.

Brunsviga n 224A picture 1

Brunsviga n 224A picture 2

Brunsviga n 224A picture 3

The university of Gttingen has Brunsviga N225 (no A!) in the calculator part of its collection of mathematical instruments.

Interestingly, this machine has no bell, silver striping over the result register which is much wider than normal, as if it was added as an afterthought, and instead of comma holes and the silver stenciled numbers over the counter register, it has the silver dots there which are typical of early Odhner machines. It also has the small wingnut on the right side, whereas any other early Brunsviga has a large one (except for the N 73 and 131 - N 110 has the large wingnut). Was the carriage exchanged for an earlier one ? For the carriage of an Odhner ? Yet another small mystery. The machine has very recently been professionally restored by Detlev Blter. On his site more detailed pictures can be found.

Brunsviga

Brunsviga N241A is in a private collection. Picture by owner, used with permission. It has a bell, the large wingnut on the right, a bright brass top plate, and an A behind the serial nr.!

Brunsviga n 241A picture 1

There is also a short crank Brunsviga in the Science Museum in London, with serial N 262.

Brunsviga n 262 picture 1

Brunsviga N 285 resides in the Arithmeum in Bonn.

Brunsviga

It also has a bell.

Brunsviga

Brunsviga N 291 was bought off ebay, after originally having been found on a fleamarket in Bonn. It is now in a private collection in Germany. Pictures by owner and used with permission. On this machine, the counter register clearing shaft wingnut is oriented horizontally in its rest position, and the wings are longer than usual. It is probably a later repair or replacement. The carriage shift knob is also of the larger type which is often seen on these machines.

Brunsviga

Brunsviga

N 299 is in the Norwegian Technical Museum in Oslo. There is a picture here (courtesy of the Norsk Teknisk Museum / digital museum project ):

The catalog of the Royal College of Science, Mathematics department, in London, says they have N 302, but unfortunately no picture.

Another mystery short crank Brunsviga has surfaced in the IBM collection in New York, but we do not currently know the serial number. It's picture is featured on Valry Monnier's website about 19th century calculators. It has a three digit serial number, the large wingnut on the right hand side and a bell.

short crank Brunsviga Malassis

Also, this bad picture surfaced on ebay, apparently originating from the press-photo archives of the Olympia Werke. Brunsviga n 308 picture 1

The sticker on the back of the picture mentions the machine was introduced in 1902, so they are about 10 years off at least on that. It is clearly a short-crank Brunsviga B, with a number (813) painted on the carriage in white. The picture is not sharp, and a serial number on the top plate is not visible. I was informed that this machine is in fact N 308, and resided in the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum (catalog nr. 813 - hence the paint). Comma sliders have been added to the carriage. The base plate sports the new style of case lock. N 342 still has the old style case lock. The machine is now in the collection of the Arithmeum in Bonn, as can be seen from the following picture, which was taken there:

Brunsviga

The comma slider bar has been removed, and the machine has received some comma indicators.

A perceptive collector-colleague (thanks Maarten!) found a picture posted on Twitter by a UK computer shop in 2009, and thought he spied a short crank Brunsviga. He chased up the lead - the calculator was on loan for a workshop on early calculating technology, but the owner was traced, the machine photographed, and permission obtained for it to enjoy its celebrity status. Its serial number is N 333, it has the Chas. Bradbury decal on the back, and on the side what is probably the earliest instance of the later decal listing many more countries. The chronology is a bit odd though, because my N 342 has the earlier decal with only 3 countries, and so does N 428. Was it perhaps changed when the machine was serviced? Anyway, N 333 has no bell, the old style case lock, and now large wingnuts on both sides.

Brunsviga

Brunsviga

Brunsviga

Brunsviga N 342 is in my own collection, and details about it can be found on this page

Brunsviga

Brunsviga N 407 was in the collection of the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum and appears in a catalog from 1981, from the exposition "Rechenkunst und Rechentechnik" from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft at the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn. This machine has no base plate, a different carriage shift knob, and a short crank. Careful observers will note that this machine has a revolution counter clearing wing nut which is now larger, and not the diminuitive model that was common on the earlier machines, at least up to N 342. Also here N 333 is a bit of an anomaly.

Brunsviga B n 407 picture 1

Brunsviga N 428 is in a private collection. More pictures appear on rechenmaschinen-illustrated.com.

Brunsviga

Brunsviga N 490 is in the Tekniska Museet in Stockholm, and they kindly allowed me to use this picture of it, while the copyright remains with them. Note that the machine has a long crank (first known occurence of a long crank in these machines), the old style of carriage shift knob, and the new style of case lock. We see here for the first time holes appear over the result register to use the comma indicators there as well. There is no bell. Again the museum is aware of the history of the machine, which came to them in 1931 as part of the estate of the engineer Hjalmar Sandberg who worked on heavy engineering projects, such as blast furnaces and hydroelectric plants.

Brunsviga B n 490 picture 1

A fellow collector has N 512. This machine is the first of a series with the logo stamped higher into the setting register plate, at the height of row 4, as opposed to between rows 5 and 6, and no "Brunsviga" script on the top plate, just the logo.

Brunsviga Nr. 512 picture 1

N 529 was in a private collection in France, until sold on ebay, and is equipped with a long crank and a bell. It has the serial number stamped all over the machine, including on the (long!) crank. Comma holes over both registers. Again, no Brunsviga script, and the "high" logo.Picture by Valry Monnier, used with permission.

Brunsviga Nr. 529 picture 1

Freddy Haegens' site lists Brunsviga N579 ...also with a long crank. According to the owner, there are no markings on the machine that correspond to the serial number on the top plate, and it is possible that an earlier top plate has been transplanted to a later machine. The plate has no "BRUNSVIGA" logo, and it has the vignette stamped higher, like the previous machine. There are again comma holes over both registers, but the revolution counter clearing wing nut is the small model.

At the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum is N 633, which has more patents on the side, and a very strange logo, which is a medallion on top of the cover instead of a stamp into the cover. In addition, this vignette is again lower, in the old position between the rows 5 and 6. Also the "BRUNSVIGA" name is applied in this manner. There is a comma slider bar on both carriage and setting register, and no holes at all for comma pointers, no bell, a short crank, and a small wingnut on the revolution register. The top plate is nickeled, where earlier ones are brass, or painted black.

Brunsviga n 633 picture 1

I have written an article in Historische Browelt N94, where I demonstrate systematically that this machine is not actually a short crank Brunsviga, but rather Odhner's Arithmometer N 633, constructed in St. Petersburg in 1891, and sent to Braunschweig as a study model after they acquired the patents. It was later Brunsviga-ised with new logos borrowed from the sewing machine production, new paint, and new decals. This also makes it plausible that the cutoff for the short cranks was somewhere around machine N 450, and afterwards only long-crank machines were still produced.

No other machines with these ornate logo's have been found, except for the one below, N 739 which is also in the factory museum, and in the original catalog carries the mention that the manufacturer's log carries the remark "Schlosser Orig. Odhner", which implies that it is an Odhner machine similarly adapted (this time with a long crank, new paint and logos). This machine has 9 x 8 x 15 capacity instead of the usual 13 - which is atypical at best, and necessitates an adaptation to the counter mechanism as well. It has comma holes over the counter register only, a long crank, no bell, and a smaller revolution register clearing wingnut.

Brunsviga n 739 picture 1

In June 2005, Breker sold Brunsviga N 3340 ...with a short crank and no bell. What they failed to mention in the description is that it has capacity 7 x 8 x 10, making it a Model C. The grip on the handle is certainly not original and looks to have originated from a Triumphator machine. Pictures Auction Team Kln.

Brunsviga n 3340 picture 1

Brunsviga n 3340 picture 2

That makes a total of 22 early short-crank Brunsviga machines still in existence, with serial numbers between 73 and approximately 450. At slightly over 4,5% of the production run, there is certainly still the possibility for improvement!

If anyone else knows of any other Brunsviga Model 1 machines, let me know!