[SIGCIS-Members] Konrad Zuse's 1936 patent - German text?

Mark Priestley m.priestley at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 03:48:58 PST 2017

Thanks everybody for the fascinating and helpful replies, both on and off
list. Just to summarize wrt to this specific document, in case anyone's

* A typescript of a patent application, dated 9 April 1936 on the headed
notepaper of patent attorney Dr-Ing. Bruno Wolf, is in the Deutsches Museum
archives, and there's a photo of the first page on Ulf's book page at
wtug/schwerpunkt-i/cluster-2/konrad-zuse/ There's a handwritten note that
says "angemeldet [registered?] 11.4.1936" and gives an application number
(?) Z 23 139 IX/42 m.

* A transcription of the German text (no diagrams) is at

* Brian Randell's "Origins" collection contains a partial English
translation (omitting the claims). The bibliographic reference at the end
of the book (the 3rd edition) gives a different patent application number,

I don't know if the application ever resulted in an actual patent being
awarded. The DEPATISnet website doesn't list a Zuse patent with an
application date in April 1936 (on a quick "beginners search", anyway :-)
The 9 May 1936 application that Con referred to is different - the issued
patent was for a "Mechanisches Schaltglied" ("Mechanical Switching


On 24 January 2017 at 10:58, Mark Priestley <m.priestley at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear list,
> Zuse's 1936 patent "Method for Automatic Execution of Calculations with
> the Aid of Computers" is reprinted in Brian Randell's "Origins of Digital
> Computers" collections. Does anyone know if/where I can get hold of the
> German original?
> Thanks in advance.
> Mark
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