The history of Madas / H.W. Egli AG company

Engineer Hans Walter Egli started in 1891 in Zurich - Wollishofen, Switzerland his company. He started with manual control stepped drum machines, with slider numerical inputs. The company got famous for the auto multiplication calculator, the Millionaire *1) and the first commercial marketed calculator according the Reichnitzer division control. The latter was marked under the name MADAS *2) (Muliplicier Automat Dividieren Addieren Subtrahieren). The designer was Edwin Jahn (German). He used the Reichsnitzer basic technology, stepped drum and refined and improved the division control. A head of the whole industry they made in 1913 already a full automatic division machine. In 1927 they were first with an automatic multiplication machine model: 7 ETA. The L type machines followed. They were relativly simple four function machines. The evolutionary process of improving culminating in the 20BTZG model. The B was used to indicate a better multiplication mechanism.
All machines work in cycles timed by a master cam shaft. Each standard operation was completed in one cycle. That camshaft was first manual driven. An electric motor was later installed. The motor having a clutch mechanism that also allowed manual operation. Madas machines were compact build. Even the full automats are much smaller than those of other manufacturers. Some machines like the 20BTG have a posibility to have two seperate resultregisters. This was used for the complex numbers. One register used the real part and the negative part was used vor the imaginairy part of the calculation.

The shift mounted, splitted stepped drum; the display-gear configuration and the counter register they use, are unique and contributed to that small design. In an UK prospectus of 1954 was written that the Madas calculators were considered as sophisticated machines and only selected personnel were allowed to work on them. For services special carrier firm were set up for transport between the owners and the Madas service location. (Those were the days)
In 1974 the company closed.

Not as separate Machine entry on this web site (I don't own a Millionaire machine yet, but very, very much like to!!)

In 1878 Ramón Verea patented a calculating machine that used a partial product multiplying mechanism, capable of "reading" values from a notched Pythagorean multiplication table.
In 1887 the French inventor Léon Bollée, using a similar principle: "An calculating mechanism capable of performing multiplication directly instead of by repeated addition". Neither Verea nor Bollée produced and marketed their machines commercially.
In 1893 Otto Steiger of Munich patented a calculator based on Bollée's approach, it was manufactured between 1895 and 1935 by the firm of Hans W. Egli in Zurich, Switzerland and marketed under the name of "Millionaire." The machine's advantage consisted in the simplicity and rapidity with which multiplications, divisions, square roots, and compound rules may be treated", thus making it ideal for more complex accounting operations. 4800 "Millionaires" were sold, primarily in Europe. The machine was manufactured in both lever and keyboard models.

*2) More details to the company and their calculators:

- From mr G. Saudan (CH) . He build the new MADAS company webside (comprehensive material)

- From mr M. Reese, Hamburg:

Part of the text is addapted from the: "Recollections on the Madas Calculator" by Ray Mackay