Willgodt Theophil Odhner

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Willgodt Theophil Odhner

Willgodt Theophil Odhner (Russian Вильгодт Теофил Однер) (* 10. August 1845 in Dalby , † 15. September 1905 in Saint Petersburg ) was a Swedish , acting in Russia engineer and inventor of the Odhner- Arithmometer , a mechanical adding machine with a pinwheel . The Odhner machines were considered to be very robust and were in use at many universities and technical offices until the 1980s.


Odhner was born in Dalby in Värmland , Sweden . From 1864 to 1867 he studied at the Royal Technical University in Stockholm without a degree . In 1868 he moved to Saint Petersburg, where he stayed until his death in 1905.

Odhner sprocket adding machine
Share over 1000 kroner from AB Original-Odhner from August 1918

Odhner developed the first mechanical calculator that bears his name in 1875. This arithmometer was patented in several countries between 1878 and 1879. Series production of an improved version began in 1890. Two years later, the later Brunsviga company received the license for Germany, Belgium and Switzerland and exhibited its device at the world exhibition in Chicago . After Odhner's death, his sons Alexander and Georg and his son-in-law Karl Siewert continued production and around 23,000 computers were made until the factory had to close in 1918. The Odhner family returns to Sweden after the Russian Revolution. In 1918 Alexander Odhner founded the company "AB Original-Odhner" in Gothenburg, which only produced calculating machines.

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