Franz Trinks

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Grave site in the main cemetery in Braunschweig

Franz Trinks (born June 19, 1852 in Helmstedt , † October 2, 1931 in Braunschweig ) was the inventor of the "Trinks arithmotype", the world's first writing calculating machine .


During his studies Trinks became a member of the Corps Alemannia Hannover . On August 1, 1883, the engineer Franz Trinks joined the Brunswick company Grimme, Natalis & Co (GNC) as operations director, which at that time was still a sewing machine factory. Eight months later, on April 1, 1884, he became a general partner alongside Albert Natalis . In 1892, Trinks decided to start adding calculating machines based on the model of an adding machine from St. Petersburg newly developed by Willgodt Theophil Odhner (licensed). His outstanding achievement consists in the tireless further development of this sprocket wheel machine, so that it calculated with absolute certainty, could do its job for years and could be operated by everyone. As director of “Grimme, Natalis & Co”, he paved the way for the “ Brunsviga ” calculating machine with clever advertising strategies and built up a worldwide sales network. Trink's inventiveness is documented in more than 250 patents (in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, USA, Denmark, France). For example, the “Trinks arithmotype”, which is considered to be the world's first printing calculating machine, was spectacular. However, this model was not an economic success, because around 1910 there was still too little demand for a computing and printing machine that cost 1,215 marks. Brunsviga soon became the largest European calculating machine factory. In 1926 Trinks retired.


In 1910 he was honored with the Knight's Cross II. Class of the Order of Henry the Lion . In 1922 Franz Trinks was made an honorary doctor (Dr.-Ing. E. h.) By the TH Braunschweig . Franz-Trinks-Straße in Braunschweig was named after him.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Address list of Weinheimer SC - Darmstadt, 1928, p. 173.
  2. Detlef Zerfowski: Our worldwide knowledge of mechanical calculating machines, slide rules and other calculation aids. The attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of knowledge from the past and present. Self-published, Bangalore, India, 2012; Chapter “Patents on Discrete Machines”, pp. 1086-1093.
  3. European Patent Office (requires JavaScript ) - patent search for author "Franz Trinks" and publication dates before 1940; currently with "approx. 285 hits "(accessed on February 20, 2017)
  4. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Duchy Braunschweig for 1916 , Verlag Joh. Heinr. Meyer, Braunschweig, 1916, p. 18.
  5. Detlef Zerfowski: Technical director, inventor and strategist: Franz Trinks. A life for Grimme, Natalis & Co., Historische Bürowelt No. 67, IFHB trade journal, April 2004, pp. 17–18; contains a picture of the honorary doctorate
  6. Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung , 1922, No. 57, p. 335.] (accessed on February 9, 2017)