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Triumphator D

A relatively late Triumphator model - I initially skimmed over it in a listing of online advertisements, because it seemed "just another Triumphator". Only when accidentally clicking open the advert the next day I noticed it was the 12 x 12 x 20 model D.

The issue with machines with large capacity is that in order to effect the tens' carry throughout the entire register, you need a large surface area on the pinwheel cylinder - because every numeral wheel must have the time to prepare the next higher digit for tens' carry before the tens carry pin arrives - and if your register is 20 digits long, this requires quite a bit of space. There is only one solution for this - you must make the pinwheel cylinder larger, so that the pins themselves take less surface angle, and the tens' carry pins have enough room to be able to operate. Look e.g. at the enormous Brunsviga D, which only went into production in a miniature version, which is still a lot larger than the other miniature machines. Thinking about this, I was expecting that the Triumphator D would be a bit larger than the model C.

And I wasn't disappointed - it is huge - in fact, it is just about the size of one of the old giant Triumphators, only all the controls and registers are relatively smaller.

The machine took a bit of cleaning, but is now looking resplendent again in its deep black livery. It is a shame though they stopped putting the image of the factory on the back of the machine.

Triumphator D picture 1

Triumphator D picture 1

Triumphator D picture 1

Triumphator D picture 1

And a comparison to make you appreciate the size difference with the Triumphator C.

Triumphator D picture 1

And another comparison to show the C next to one of the big, old machines - some parts might well exchange between the D and these!

Triumphator I picture 4

There is however more to this story now. I found another advertisement online for a calculating machine, and from the picture, it seemed it was a model with 12 setting positions, 20 result windows and 12 revolution counter windows. However, no tens' carry in the revolution counter, and no setting control register. So a Triumphator D of a different flavour, and as far as I know, not described so far.

I picked it up, and it was in rather bad shape. The location detent springs for two of the setting pins are probably broken, so they don't "click". The other pins were very stiff, and it was obvious that the pinwheel cylinder had been oiled in the past. I did not want to try and disassemble the pinwheel cylinder, which is notoriously difficult to do on a Triumphator, as everything is pinned in place, so instead I gave it a bath in acetone and cleaned it as well as I could. After drying, things were even worse. I finally resorted to oiling it again, and after 24 hours to give the oil time to get everywhere, all now works relatively well, but I will need to keep a close eye on it, because I will be back in trouble once the oil starts hardening.

Two peculiar things about this pinwheel cylinder - the first one is that it seems to be made out of aluminium, which would explain why the steel pins slide with so much difficulty. Aluminium is not a bearing material for steel, and galls easily. The discs might also be some sort of zinc alloy, but they really do look like aluminium to me.

Triumphator D picture 1

Triumphator D picture 2

Triumphator D picture 2

The second one is its size. The diameter of the pinwheels is 85mm. I think that makes these machines the record holders for pinwheel size - the old large Triumphators only went up to 73mm.

Triumphator I picture 4

Most parts in this machine have the serial number stamped into it. The leftmost pinwheel also has 2/19 scratched into it (Feb. 1919, or the 19th of Feb. in 1924, when this machine is supposed to be made ?), 483, which are the last three digits of the serial number, and a note which I am unfortunately unable to read. Anyone here good in deciphering old German handwriting ?

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

A demonstration of scope creep - once the pinwheel cylinder was freed up, the machine was tried, and one numeral wheel did not indicate correctly. It was easy to divine that one of the gear teeth must have broken off. I filed a new gear tooth, and tried to glue it in place with cyanoacrylate glue, but that was not much of a success. Normally, I wouldn't have thought anything of disassembling the result register, but unfortunately I couldn't get it apart. These things can really be like chinese puzzles... When it turned out glueing wasn't going to cut it, I kept trying, and finally succeeded by turning the 0's vertically up. The trouble is that there is an extra disc at the left end of the register, which operates the bell, as well as two intermediate supports in the register, and the pins on the shaft have to be able to pass through these as well. The slots are oriented vertically downward, but this is not visible with the register assembled. Oh well - once it came apart, I soldered my new gear tooth to the numeral wheel, and now I will just hope the solder stands up to the light use it is going to receive from now on. This is the gear in question:

Triumphator I picture 4

When everything was more or less ready, I decided to undo the screws of the butterfly on the counter side, so I could clean the support for it very well, and of course immediately the entire register shifted and the last numeral wheel dropped off its locating pin. In order to get it back together, I had to disassemble the entire counter register as well, but at least now it is clean too ...

The best part is that the machine came with its cover and wooden base plate. There is something odd about the base though, because there is a little extra stained plate of wood between the machine and the base.

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

The cover has, very faintly visible, the Triumphator logo on the front. I may restore it at some point with gold paint.

Triumphator I picture 4

Now, finally some pictures of the restored machine:

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4

Sold in Belgium by the Maison Desoer. They were a printing shop from 1750, and started out as Underwood distributors for Belgium in 1898 and had expanded into office machinery, among which an exclusive Triumphator representation for Belgium, in 1910. The company expanded into metal office furniture (ACIOR brand), merged with TDS and still exists today as tds office design. The factory is in Liège, but no longer has nothing to do with office machine distribution, just furniture.

Triumphator I picture 4

"Triumphator" logo

Triumphator I picture 4

And together with its later and more sophisticated sister:

Triumphator I picture 4

Triumphator I picture 4