The Soemtron ETR 221 Calculator
After some research by Bernard Green and ourselves, about a possible ETR 221 desktop calculator  unit, an email from Serge Devidts has confirmed the existence at some time in the past of a two part ETR 221. Bernard had suggested existence of just such a machine having recently said that he recollected seeing a two part unit shipped into the UK whilst he was at Office and Electronic Machines in London.
Bernard describes the two parts of the 221 machine as being -
So far the only references to the 221 we can find is a vague picture here in the Büromaschinen Lexikon for 1967-68 (Click on "Soemtron"), and these faint pictures (right) that Serge has recently sent to us.
In an email from Rüdiger Kurth he gave us this information about the 221 - "The main difference between the Soemtron 221 and the Soemtron 224 is the double speed printing system and of course the new cover. The Soemtron 221 was not a prototype, but a serial production, but only very few Soemtron 221 were produced, then the production line was changed for Soemtron 224".
At this time we assume that no examples of the Soemtron ETR 221 two part unit remain in the wild, but then we also thought that about the 224 - did we not ?. We have found that very little information, if any, exists about the Soemtron ETR 221 other than the couple of pictures we found so far and a few peoples vague recollections. No technical information appears to have survived. We know of only one Soemtron 221 ever being seen outside of V.E.B. Büromaschinenwerk Sömmerda, that being the one delivered to Office and Electronic Machines in London. For whatever reason the Soemtron 221 (a concept ?) machine would then seem to have been redesigned into the bulkier 224 production unit, a pity as the original 221 looks much more stylish than the 224.
If you have any further historical information, circuits, drawings, photographs, data or manuals about the Soemtron ETR 220, 221, 222, 224 or their manufacture, test equipment (Prüfgeräte) or you just know more about the Soemtron companies in general then please let us know, contact us here.
August 2011 - A recent 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. The 221 brochure can be found here, the 220 brochure is on the ETR 220 pages.
January 2011 - Following one of our regular web searches during late December 2010 for anything Soemtron related, we found on Ebay a German language book from 1969 entitled "Programmgesteuerte Rechenautoaten" (Program controlled computers) as listing in its contents the Soemtron 220 "und" 221. With shipping arranged we eagerly awaited delivery - and then it finally arrived several weeks later after delays in the post from the exceptionally bad weather here in the UK.
Eventually after going through the whole book page by page we found two small pictures on pages 99 and 100, with one of those being the same (lower photo above) as sent in by Serge !. The pictures were labeled - "Bild 22 zeigt den elektronischen Tischrechner Soemtron 220 mit optischer Ergebnisanzeige, Bild 23 den Typ Soemtron 221 mit Kontrollstreifendrucker", which translates to - "Fig. 22 shows the electronic desk calculator Soemtron 220 with optical result indicator, fig. 23 the type Soemtron 221 with impact printer control". (Scans of the pictures to come soon).
September 2010 - An email from Bernard Green has passed on some 221 sales literature he received from VDI Verlag, Düsseldorf. They have forwarded an extract from the VDI-Z Association of German Engineers magazine, volume 108 (July 1966), page 944. In the very small entry for the 221 it states (translated) - "Computer Soemtron 221 - The desk calculator Soemtron 221 is an extension of the type 220 with a printing element. In their functions however both models are identical". The page can be seen here here (©2010 VDI Verlag, Düsseldorf).