Manufactured by V.E.B. Büromaschinenwerk Sömmerda, the Soemtron branded range of calculators encompassed three variants, the 220, 222, and a printing calculator the 224. A possible fourth calculator, the 221, was seen in literature of the period and does show and describe the type 221 printing calculator, but it is believed now to have only existed as a single machine for a publicity release (see December 2009 here) in the Büromaschinen Lexikon, a German publication of the 1960's. That one machine was possibly the one delivered to Office and Electronic Machines (OEM) in London, the UK importers.
This website is dedicated to the Soemtron electronic calculator range and came into existence when an old piece of equipment was received in 2007 from Prague in the Czech Republic, after a Google search for "core memory" during some idle research into the PDP-7 range of computers manufactured by the now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation. The unit duly arrived, but it was found to be in a very poor state, dirty, rusty and missing its power supply and top covers (photos). After a few days research and translating some German text off of the baseplate, we worked out what this old dirty corroded hulk was - a Soemtron ETR 220 calculator, which turns out to be a very interesting piece of early electronic calculator history from 1960's and 70's German Democratic Republic.
Over time we have repaired and conserved our Soemtron 220 and eventually we hope to get this interesting piece of Eastern Bloc calculator history from the 1960's into full working order, once we can get a suitable power supply into her. Bookmark this page and come back from time to time for a visit and see how we are getting on. We have published and are updating full circuit diagrams (ein schaltplan) of the machine and its inner workings for those of you who are interested - not many probably !, but there again this is the Internet, see you again soon.
The top two pictures (right) are of a very good condition Soemtron ETR 220 and an ETR 222 owned by calculator collector Serge Devidts, for more information see his website here. The bottom picture is of an ETR 224 printing calculator, a very rare machine as just over 500 units were built.
Older news from Soemtron can be found here.
August 2011 - An email from another of our contributors Rocco Thiel has turned up two Soemtron brochures from the 1960's, one for the ETR 220 and one for the ETR 221. The ETR 221 brochure is especially welcome as we thought that publicity information about this machine did not exist. Each brochure can be found on their respective machine pages, or here 220, and here 221.
May 2011 - Another 224 found. In an email to Bernard Green, Rüdiger Kurth another of our contributors, has written to say that he has found another Soemtron 224 machine as part of an exhibition in the Museum für historische Bürotechnik Naunhof (Museum of Historical Office Technology in Naunhof) - website. The machine was apparently made in 1969 and is serial number 32549. Close examination of Rüdiger's photo shows it is the same build version machine as we have in our collection, which is serial numbered 32612 and also from 1969, this brings the number of Soemtron 224 machines currently known to still exist to four.
Click here for previous events in the Soemtron website timeline.
The Soemtron 220 range also appeared in the "Büromaschinen Lexikon", a German publication covering office machinery and products. Soemtron branded products appeared in the 1962/63 to 1968/69 issues, but only three are available online below -
|1||Wikipedia entry for V.E.B. =
Volks Eigener Betrieb, or Peoples Owned Company . . . . . .
|Büromaschinenwerk = Office Machine Works.||back|
|2||The index page for the Büromaschinen Lexikon is . . . . . . . .||here|
|2a||A Soemtron 220, and a 221 with integral printer . . . . . . . . .||1966-67||(Click "Soemtron")|
|2b||A Soemtron 220, and a version with printer . . . . . . . . . . . . .||1967-68||(Click "Soemtron")|
|2c||Description for the Soemtron 220 and a "fast printer", click
the "Sumlock" link to see photos and pricing for the 220
and 224 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
|1968-69||("Soemtron" & "Sumlock")|