Soemtron Calculators - Overview
Soemtron calculators and Daro office machines were manufactured by V.E.B. Buromaschinenwerk Sommerda in Soviet East Germany.
The company no doubt grew from that part of the German hi-tech industry that found itself in the Soviet bloc after the war. Boris Chertok’s fascinating and detailed autobiographical history of the Soviet rocket programme “Rockets and People” contains interesting stories of the technololgy that he helped to identify and repatriate back to Russia from exactly the region around Sommerda, where V.E.B. Buromaschinenwerk Sommerda was subsequently established.
The Soemtron 220 is a first-generation all transistor machine, it was introduced in 1966 and seems to have remained in active production until 1977. In the West, first generation machines were out of production by the end of the 1960s and second generation machines were obsolete and out of production within 4-5 years after that.
The 220 is a competent 4-function, 2-memory machine and is built with core memory, discrete transistor logic and Nixie tube display. As noted above, all of these technologies were well obsolete in the West by the end of the 1960s.