Braun Calculator

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Sometimes it’s not about doing the different but its about doing the similar only looking and functioning better.

I recently received a birthday gift from a very old friend, a Limited Edition white Braun Calculator. My pal has particularly good taste – obviously other than his clearly suspect taste in friends – and I know that he has championed, amongst other products, these perfect, stylish and durable calculators for years.

A little like the argument about why do you need a camera or a calculator when you have an IPhone? Surely they cover the same bases. Yes but no. Admittedly, you may need more than pockets or even a brief case to carry your choice of camera, calculator, Filofax – which, mark my words is about to see a resurgence supported by ‘back to basics’ and ‘digital detoxing’ Millennials – wallet, alarm clock and phone but there is something fun and creative in developing your portfolio of preferred items and relishing their use for their specialized task.

You are probably saying, Braun, don’t they make shavers, depilatory trimmers and hairstyling tools – and you’d be right. Originally, only available in black the iconic ET44 and ET66 Braun Calculator (the latter has an additional and very useful slide on protective cover) were collaboratively designed by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams in 1977 and 1987, respectively.

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Dieter Rams, joined Braun in 1955, a German business originally founded by Engineer, Max Braun, who made radio sets in Frankfurt in 1921, and it comprises a beautiful and practical example of Rams’ lean design philosophy “weniger, aber besser” – literally “less, but better”. It is said that early Apple designers – Rams is known to have been a huge influence on Apple’s chief designer, Jonathan Ives – were so influenced by the look of the ET44 that the original IPhone calculator app, down to the yellow “equals” button, and the early incarnations of the IPod bore striking resemblances to the Lubs/Rams designs, including the ET44.

The ET44 and ET66 are not Rams and Lubs’ only iconic collaboration for Braun. From 1971, we also have the the charming and hugely tactile AB1A travel alarm clock, another exceptional example of function, great design and adherence to Rams’ simple design mantra. It’s almost a pleasure to wake up to its shrill chirrup!

If you’d like to add these beautiful, highly practical and iconic objects to your personal collection please click the AMAZON link below the image in the following gallery.

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Braun Calculator – White

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Braun Calculator – Black

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Braun Classic Square Travel Alarm Clock BNC002WHWH – White

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Braun Classic Square Travel Alarm Clock BNC002BK – Black

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Image credits – with grateful thanks – Braun AG and Zeon Ltd.

Staedtler Noris HB Pencils

First Launched: Between 1900 and 1901.

The City of Nuremberg has a long history of pencil making and several hundred years before J.S. Staedtler opened his business in 1835 the roots of Staedtler family’s involvement can be traced back to 1662 when a pencil-maker named Friedrich Staedtler is referred to in the city’s archives.

On 3 October 1835, J.S. Staedtler received permission from the municipal council of Nuremberg to produce black-lead, red chalk and pastel pencils in his industrial plant.

By 1866, the company had grown 54 employees and produced 15,000 gross (or 2,160,000 pencils) per year.

Between 1900 and 1901 “Noris” brand – that is still a preferred brand with British schools – was created alongside of the Mars brand. Staedtler now has over 20 global subsidiaries and seven manufacturing facilities with over 85% of its production still taking place at its headquarters in Nuremberg.

The company celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2010.

My Staedtler Noris Pencils: In researching this piece I was amazed to see just how many famous authors prefer to write in pencil – even if lap-tops, or way back, typewriters are available. I have always used these classic pencils to take notes during meetings and to make changes to draft documents. I buy boxes at a time as I go through them so quickly – or is it that they are stolen by my children….

Your Staedler Noris Pencils:

Photo by Staedtler