Relic Information query matches

Matching on query: Unique id = 14/97, Name = any, Associated machine = any, class = any

Unique id/year of acquisition: 14/97
Name: Brunsviga
Other nos on object: 165354 (inscribed, front)
Inscription: BRUNSVIGA 20 (inscribed, front), Brunsviga-Maschinenwerke Grimme.Natalis & Co. A.-G. (front), Mathematical Laboratory No 16 (rear)
Dimensions: 405x225x160
Description: Black metal box, carrying handle on right side. Various knobs and switches, numeric registers.
Class: calculating machine
Machine: n/a
Condition: good
DW: This is a Brunsviga hand calculating machine. These were used in the Laboratory from about 1937 until after the war in the early fifties. Originally the Lab was set up so there were some calculators like this to provide computing for the University and science students used to come in and use machines such as this do their calculations. This machine allows you to do calculations in roughly the following way: You can set a number by means of these switches, you can then add that number into the accumulator by turning the handle. You turn the handle the other way it subtracts, and in addition this accumulator at the bottom will move to the right and to the left and you can do a multiplication as a sequence of additions perhaps five for a five and shift and then six revolutions for the next digit, and perhaps 3 for the next digit and thus you can perform a multiplication by doing a lot of hand turning and some shifting. You can do division by doing the same backwards with subtraction. There are lots of levers which do various things, this clears this register which records the number of turns of the handle in each of the different places, in other words the multiplier. This clears the register here, and we can individually set things, and there is one very interesting mechanism here which allows you to transfer a number from the accumulator back on to these keys by a combination - if I remember correctly - of this lever and moving these simultaneously. So the machine could do additions, subtractions and multiplications, divisions and it can transfer numbers back to the multiplicand. Lots of people like these very much, Jeff Miller used to swear by these rather than the more advanced Facits mainly because you could do this transfer which helped some calculations. You can actually set individual numbers here but it's a very versatile machine, if a bit fingery to use, but they did a lot of calculations in the early days. I think it was produced in the early thirties but it may have been the twenties I'm not sure - it's a German machine. They made this design, which is fairly complicated mechanically.
Q: Were they very expensive?
DW: I never bought one - I think they would have been expensive by the standards of the day, which is why the University had a few for the entire University rather than in every department, which is what you would expect nowadays. Also they went on quite late in use, even after the EDSAC started because they were used for teaching classes in numerical analysis.
Archivists note: Information obtained from the web:
The first Brunsviga was produced in 1892, they continued to manufacture machines until the 1960s when the company was bought by Olympia, a well known German office machine manufacturer. Olympia was later acquired by Volkswagen. Brunsviga originally manufactured sewing machines but later moved to mechanical calculators. Mechanical calculators of this type were invented by Willgodt T.Odhner in 1878, he later sold his patent to Brunsviga.
See also: 62/97

Number of matches = 1 Copyright University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, 1999. All rights reserved.