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OVERVIEW

Rudolf Hell mugshot

Rudolf Hell

Dr. Rudolf Hell (1901-2002) was one of the most important German inventors of all time. E.g., with Prof. Dieckmann he invented the Photoelectric Image Scanning Tube (TV camera tube, patented in 1925); he invented the electronically controlled "Klischograph" half-tone photo-engraver in 1951 and revolutionized printed press technology, the first practical fax machine in 1956, a color scanner in 1963, a computerized CRT type-setter in 1965 (Datensichtgerät DS 2038, not unlike the IBM PC of the early 1980s!), and many technical processes. The renowned calligrapher and font designer Prof. Hermann Zapf (Hell Digiset fonts, standard PC fonts like Zapf-Dingbats, Palatino, etc.) rightfully referred to him as "the Edison of the Graphics Industry" and "the father of digital word processing". Hell's biographers Onnasch and Fuchs call him "Engineer of the Century". Ref. 7. He was indeed a "pioneer of teleprinting, television, fax, scanner, and printing technology" (say I).

In short: Hell covered all aspects of the decomposition of syllables, letter characters and images into pixels, and the processing, transmission, displaying and printing thereof. He developed the Hellschreiber during the 1920s, and in 1929 obtained a patent for his "Apparatus for the electrical transmission of text characters" ("Vorrichtung zur elektrischen Übertragung von Schriftzeichen"). Rudolf Hell explained the purpose of the Hell-Schreiber as follows [see p. 2 and §10b in ref. 1]:



"Das Entwicklungsziel, ein für Presseempfang brauchbares Gerät zu schaffen, konnte nur mit einem denkbar einfachen Schreibgerät erreicht werden."

"Die Entwicklung des Hell-Schreibers erfolgte speziell im Hinblick auf die drahtlose Übertragungstechnik"

"The objective of the development was a practical device for the reception of messages from news agencies. This could only be achieved with a very simple teleprinter."

"The development of the Hell-printer was specifically done for wireless communication."

It went into service with press agencies and news media in 1934. The Hellschreiber is a Typenbildfernschreiber, basically a "character-image tele-writer" or "print-telegraph". Copies of Dr. Hell's patents related to the Hellschreiber are available below.

"Ich habe nie etwas gemacht, nur um Geld zu verdienen. Es ging mir um den Fortschritt und die praktische Anwendung"

"I‘ve never done anything just to earn money. For me, the important things were progress and practical applications."

Some non-German publications and websites persistently state that the word "Hellschreiber" actually means something like "bright writer", "brightly writer", or worse, "bright writing". It does not! This nonsense is brought on by misuse of dictionaries and online translation tools. Remember: "a fool with a tool is still a fool". If anything, the Hellschreiber is the opposite of a "bright writer": "Der Hellschreiber ist ein Dunkelschreiber!", as it prints dark on a light background. "Hellschreiber" is also not a pun on Rudolf ’s last name: through the mid-1900s, it was simply customary to attach the name of the inventor to the name of the product or system (at least in Germany). The Hell family was fortunate enough not to be living in modern-day Australia, where their surname could have caused them problems [ref. 40].

For those readers not conversant in the German language, I definitely recommend reading the one-page essay "The awful German language" by Mark Twain [ref. 55], one of my all-time favorite authors. I admire the ability of the German language to perfectly reduce an entire concept or sentence into a single word, that requires no further explanation. Nice examples of this are Wechselstromtelegraphiekurzwellenzusatz, Wehrmachtsfunkfernschreibschlüsselnetz, Streifenvorschubgeschwindigkeitsregelung, Schriftzeichenübertragungsgeschwindigkeitsregelung, and Wehrmachtsquarzkristallsparschaltungsnachfolger.

In 1926 and 1927, Hell published a number of amateur radio publications for the do-it-yourself construction of antennas and equipment, including a receiver/printer for text transmissions [e.g., ref. 62, 77, 78].

Hell book covers

Fig. 1: Two of the books (co-)authored by Rudolf Hell


In his 1927 book "Bildfunk" [ref. 77], Rudolf Hell already applied the basic concepts that he would use in the Hellschreiber a couple of years later:

"Zur Übertragung wird das Bild im Bildsender in einzelne Bildelemente zerlegt, die in Stromimpulse verwandelt werden. Der Empfänger schreibt entsprechend den ankommenden Stromimpulsen selbsttätig Punkte und Striche in richtiger Reihenfolge auf das Empfangsblatt."

"For transmission, the sender decomposes the image into individual pixels that are converted into current pulses. The receiver mechanically prints the arriving pulses as a an equivalent sequence of dots and line segments."

The Hellschreiber is a simple and robust system that was developed specifically to provide readable, error-free communication, even on low-quality radio and land-line telephone links and in mobile applications. This made it particularly suitable for press agencies, diplomatic and military communications (incl. in combination with crypto machines), communication over high-voltage power-lines [ref. 29, 53], police communication [ref. section 10a in ref. 1 (Medium Wave network), 73], and… amateur radio! It is based on raster-scan transmission of text characters , and printing the received signals as-is (no decoding required) with a helical scan mechanism. In other words: a simple form of fax, or remote dot-matrix printer. See more details on my "How it works" and "Photos" pages.

Wireless services of news agencies such as the Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro (DNB), Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), the Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst (AND), and Reuters [ref. 47], transmitted their messages in Hell-format. See the Presse-Hell pages. Reuters started its to the European continent in 1934. Broadcasting was primarily done on long-wave frequencies, to get continental coverage. Ref. 6. In the post-WWII years, agencies such as the Deutsche Allgemeine Nachrichten Agentur (DANA), Deutsche Nachrichtenagentur (DENA), the Deutsche Presse Dienst (DPD), Deutscher Sportverlag (DSV), and Telegrafnoie Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soiuza, (TASS, Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) also used the Hell format. TASS continued Hellschreiber broadcast at least through the mid-1950s.

Presse-Hell network map 1939

Fig. 2: Map of the wireless Hellschreiber-network of the German DNB press agency ca. 1939

(source: figure 1 in ref. 6)

The Wehrmacht is the combined army ("Heer"), navy ("Kriegsmarine"), and air force ("Luftwaffe") in Germany from 1935-1945. The Hell-system was used for military field operations. Hence, the Wehrmacht Hellschreibers are also referred to as Feldfernschreibers or Feld-Hellschreiber. They entered into service ca. 1935 - in time for the start of the war [see p. 50 of ref. 48]. Feld-Hell machines were also used by the armed forces of other countries (e.g., until ca. 1960 in Sweden). There are indications that Feld-Hell machines ("teletipo de campaña") were used by the Spanish armed forces, in particular the national army, during various conflicts: the Spanish Civil War 1936-39, World War II (a Spanish legion in the USSR), and the Ifni Wars (Spanish West Sahara and around the Moroccan coastal city of Sidi Ifni) 1956-58. The Italian army also used Feld-Hell machines ("telescrittore campale", "telescrivente da campo"), see the Italian Hell-telegram here. The Finnish armed forces - with German supplies - used Feld-Hellschreiber in the Karelia region during the 1941-1944 "Continuation War" against Russia. The Hungarian army also used Feld-Hell machines, with legends in Hungarian.

The Luftwaffe also used Hellschreiber technology for aerial navigation, as part of the "Bernhard" system. The ground-station transmitted the momentary azimuth of its rotating narrow-beam antenna in Hell format on VHF (30-33.3 MHz); ref. 3. Its airborne counterpart is a small Hell-printer, the FuG 120 "Bernhardine" ("UKW-Richtstrahl-Drehfunkfeuer Empfänger" or "Receiver for rotational directional VHF beam beacon". It was installed in various aircraft types, esp. night fighter versions, such as the Messerschmitt Me262 (one of my all time favorite aircraft), Junkers Ju 88G, Arado Ar234 [ref. 4], and Dornier Do-335.

The Kriegsmarine used Hellschreiber as part of the on-board intercom system [ref. 75], as well as ship-ship and ship-shore communication. This included broadcasts from Germany to (submerged) submarines worldwide, with the 1 megawatt "Goliath" VLF transmitter near Berlin.

The German military has operated the Hellschreiber in combination with the famous Enigma encryption system [ref. 31, 32, 52], e.g., for message exchanges between headquarters in European capitals (Athens/Greece-Vienna/Austria, ref. 3). In 1944 the Hell Co. developed the "Hell-Geheimschreiber" encryption machine. It used 235 possible codes for each 7x5 dot character, using a one-time-pad encryption algorithm with a period of 1014 [ref. 5]. Apparently only half dozen or so of these machines were ever made. They were used in U-Boot, and on Kriegsmarine ships in the Mediterranean in 1945. The Hell Co. resumed the design and manufacture of crypto systems in the 1950s.

During the war, the Reichsbahn (German national railways) used "Presse Hell" Hellschreiber broadcasts over short-wave radio, to disseminate train schedules, etc. Its messages were intercepted by the BBC Monitoring Service (BBCMS) [ref. 69]. After the war, the Deutsche Bahn used well over a thousand Hellschreiber machines [ref. 70].

Commercial use of Hell-systems continued well into the 1980s.

HIS LIFE

Rudolf Hell was born on 19 December 1901 at the local freight railway station of Eggmühl (Lower Bavaria, 15 km south of Regensburg, 90 km northeast of Munich) where his father, Karl Hell, was station master for the Königlich-Bayrische Eisenbahngesellschaft (Royal Bavarian Railway Co.). It is here were Rudolf was exposed to telegraphy at an early age. His mother, Lidwina, was the daughter of a farmer and beer brewer. Rudolf had two older brothers, Karl and Max. The area was a battlefield in 1809, when Napoleon's army defeated the Austrian army under Archduke Karl.

Rudolf + brothers 1919

Fig. 3: Karl, Max, and Rudolf (left to right) - 1919

(courtesy C. Onnasch and B. Fuchs, ref. 6, used with permission)

At the age of six, his father was transferred some 160 km (100 mi) north to the freight station in the town of Eger, then in the Austro-Hungarian empire - now a border-town in the Czech Republic and named "Cheb" since 1945. This is where he attended elementary school for four years. He was a bit of an outsider and didn't hang out with the kids in the street. Apparently he had a pale complexion. Attempts were made to strengthen him, and bring color to his cheeks with red wine.

Eggmühl railway station 1900

Fig. 4: The railway station of Eggmuehl ca. 1900 - father Hell (station master) at far left

(courtesy C. Onnasch and B. Fuchs, ref. 6, used with permission)

After finishing elementary school, he went to the Rudolphinium Oberrealschule (a form of secondary school). It was not named after young Rudolf, but in honor of King Rudolph I of Habsburg. Rudolf graduated in 1919. He was good at physics and math, mediocre at languages, and was poor at subjects that didn't interest him.

At the age of 18, he went to the Technische Hochschule München (Technical University in Munich) where he obtained his "Diplom-Ingenieur - Elektrotechnik" (Dipl.-Ing.) degree in 1923 (Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering). This is where he met Prof. Max Dieckmann (ref. 43), who lectured on wireless telegraphy and was forced to rename his lecture "wireless television" to something less provocative. Dieckmann was already involved with scanning of text characters, converting them into electrical pulses and displaying them on a cathode ray tube (CRT) [ref. 44A/B/C]. The CRT was invented in 1895 by Nobel Prize laureate Karl Ferdinand Braun. To this day, it is still referred to as "Braunsche Röhre" ("Braunian Tube") in German speaking countries and in Japan. Dieckman was Braun's assistant 1905-1906. In 1925, Hell filed his first patent (with Dieckmann): an image decomposition tube ("Bildzerlegerröhre") - the video camera tube!

In 1927 Hell obtained his doctorate degree with a dissertation on "a direct-indicating radio direction finder for aviation" [ref. 79], which became the basis for automatic guidance and auto-pilots of aircraft. The invention was licensed to Telefunken and to a US company for a tidy sum: 20,000 Reichsmark (the currency in Germany from 1924-1948); ref. 65. This is estimated (by me) to be the equivalent of roughly three quarters of a million US dollars (2008).

Hell logos

Fig. 5: Logos of the Hell company


In the late 1920, Hell considered the TV technology to be in an impasse, and switched over to facsimile. In May of 1929 (at the age of 28), he and his wife Martha moved to Berlin-Babelsberg, and had a furnished room in the house of an employee of the Auto-Union (a combination of the automobile and motorcycle companies DKW, Horch, Audi ("Horch" in Latin), and Wanderer). Shortly thereafter, he bought a house at Ihnestraße 41 in Berlin-Dahlem (it still exists today, see here). This is where the Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Company was founded. The machine shop was in the basement, the design office and lab on the ground floor, the office in the hallway, and private quarters upstairs. Hell worked here with about a dozen employees.

Hell house Berlin-Dahlem

Fig. 6: Rudolf Hell bought his first house in Berlin-Dahlem

(courtesy C. Onnasch and B. Fuchs, ref. 7, used with permission)

His patent entitled "Device for the electrical transmission of text characters" (nr. 540849, see the patents table below) represents the birth of the "Bildschreiber" (i.e., "image writer"). It was later named "Hell-Schreiber", after its inventor. This has turned out to be one of the turning points in telecommunication. The basic idea of decomposing graphical information into pixels and lines that are easy to process (generate, transmit, reconstitute) has been the theme of Hell's life work. He developed the Hellschreiber in 1929, and that same year he licensed the rights to the Siemens-Halske (S-H) company for 13,000 Reichsmark - about half a million US dollars (2008). His first customer was the German national railway company. The house in Berlin-Dahlem was paid for with this money, plus the proceeds of the sale of his car, and a 3000 Mark inheritance from his mother. Ref. 49. In 1931 the company moved to larger facilities in Berlin-Dahlem, and again in 1937 - to facilities in Berlin-Zehlendorf, at Kronprinzenallee 138 (renamed to Clayallee in 1949), The latter was only a couple of streets away from Hell's house in the Ihnestraße. Ca. 1940, production facilities for the war effort were added in Berlin-Teltow, in the Warthestraße, near the Teltow-canal. Here, Hellschreibers were manufactured, as well as equipment for the Kriegsmarine, radio compasses, radio direction-finding and crypto equipment. The Teltow facilities were dismantled by the Soviet occupational forces in 1946-1946 [ref. 81].

Hell Werke Berlin

Fig. 7: Hell Werke in Berlin-Zehlendorf

(source: ref. 38)

Below is are listings for Rudolf Hell, from the telephone book of Berlin. Starting in 1937, he is listed as "Fernmeldetechnisches Institut" (Telecommunications Institute):

Hell in phonebook Berlin

Fig. 8: Phonebook entries for Rudolf Hell (top to bottom: 1934-1943)

(source: Berliner Adressbücher 1799-1943, telephone & address books of Berlin)

During the latter half of the 1930s, the Hell company had the radio callsign D2bw. This was an experimental license. Transmitter location, maximum output power, frequency bands (incl. amateur radio bands), modulation (telegraphy/phone) and purpose were fixed. Communication with other licensees was typically not allowed. The license of 1938 indicates the permission to use Hellschreiber telegraphy with 100 watt, for the development of telemetry systems and radio communication systems, per instructions of the Wehrmacht and other government organizations.

radio license 1935

Fig. 9: Entry in the 1935 radio license list

(source: ref. 61A)

radio license 1938

Fig. 10: Entry in the 1938 radio license list

(source: ref. 61B)

Rudolf Hell as a private person did not hold a license. He does not appear on the 1936, 1937, or 1939 list of "Liebhaberfunker" (lit. "radio amateurs"), nor on the 1944 (short) list of "Kriegsfunkgenehmigungsinhaber" (war-time licensees). Ref. 61a/b/c. In 1926, he did co-author a hefty book about amateur radio antennas [ref. 63].

In Germany, the first broadcast radio station started transmissions in October of 1923 (Berlin). The only radios allowed, were those with a registration-stamp of the Reichstelegraphen-Verwaltung (Imperial Telegraphy Administration), part of the Deutsche Reichspost. Starting mid-May of 1924, private individuals could obtain a permit for owning and operating a receiver station ("Audion-Versuchserlaubnis"). This required passing of a knowledge test, administered by a radio club. From November of 1924 on, transmitter licenses were issued to radio clubs, corporate development labs, and technical universities - not to private individuals. Late August 1925, the Reichspost lifted the ban on the private construction of radio receivers. Amateur transmission were relegated to "pirate" transmissions with fictitious callsigns. The Fernmeldeanlagegesetz (Telecom Equipment Law) of 1928 made operation of all telephone, telegraph, teleprinter, and radio equipment subject to a (paid) registration license. The callsign prefix "D" became effective in Germany on 1 January 1929. Decrees of the Reichspost Ministerium in 1930 and 1931 made it illegal to hook up an antenna to a transmitter. The national-socialist regime came to power early 1933 and initially tried to dissolve the national amateur radio organization (DASD). In 1937, illegal transmissions became an offense, punishable with a prison sentence. Shortly after the beginning of WW2 in 1939, amateur radio was generally banned. However, a "Kriegsfunkgenehmigung" (war-time license) was issued to a small number of members of the Wehrmacht (e.g., about 150 in 1944, ref. 61c). Log books had to be sent to the DASD (controlled by Mr. Goebbels' ministry) on a regular basis. [ref. 63 and 64].

During the 1930s through 1945, the S-H company built large numbers (an estimated 50 thousand) of "Presse Hell" machines (for news agencies, etc.). According to Dr. Hell himself [ref. 6], the invention was an "Aha-Erlebnis" (a.k.a. "eureka moment"; the Greek εύρηκα roughly translates to "I have found it"), rather than the result of tedious research and development.

Double helix patent

Fig. 11: The double-helix printer for rasterized text characters, patented by Rudolf Hell

(source: Figure 2 of the 1929 Hell patent)

Hell continued the development of Hellschreibers. Hell, like the entire industrial complex, was obliged to support the war effort. This included the development of Morse telegraphy (training) devices, metal detectors [ref. 74], fuses for mines, radio direction finders, and formation-flying flight-guidance systems. As a subcontractor to the C. Lorenz company, Hell developed and manufactured the UKE-5 and UKE-7 modules of the remote control & guidance receivers of the V2-missile [ref. 37]. He co-developed the first missile-borne data recorder, based on video-camera technology [ref. 82]. He was also involved with the development of crypto machines (e.g., patent 855876). At the end of the war, he had about 1000 employees at his two factories. All was lost by the end of the war, and he started all over again in 1947 [ref. 57]. He re-established his company for telecommunications and electronic image reproduction equipment in Kiel (port city in the far north of Germany).

Hell Werke Kiel

Fig. 12: The first "Hell Werke" in Kiel (source: ref. 38)


Hell with printer

Fig. 13: Dr. Hell reading the tape of a Hell "T empf 14" tape printer for news agency services

(Telefunken radio model "E400 Rö" next to the printer, with Siemens-Halske keying amplifier model "St.V.1" on top; courtesy C. Onnasch and B. Fuchs, ref. 6, used with permission)

Hell lab in Kiel

Fig. 14: The lab in Kiel (far right: Rudolf Hell) in Kiel, 1951


Around that same time, an engineer at Sony in Japan reverse-engineered the Hellschreiber, and Sony manufactured 10 to 20 machines (ref. 9; photo and description is here). Early 1948, Siemens-Halske handed off their image transmission activities to Dr. Hell, with a 30-year contract. In 1956 he developed and produced the first practical fax machine: Kleinfaxgerät KF108 [ref. 59, 71, 76]. It uses a spinning drum - one of the two basic technologies (dating back at least as far as Frederick Collier Bakewell, 1848), the other being the flatbed scanner/printer (dating back at least to Alexander Bain, 1843). The received binary image is printed directly onto normal (!) paper with an inked sapphire-wheel, rather than by passing electrical current through impregnated paper (e.g., potassium ferro-cyanide or potassium iodide). However, Siemens abandoned these activities, as they saw no future in it [ref. 72]. Some twenty years later, Japanese companies very successfully revived it...

Hell KF108

Fig. 15A: Kleinfaxgerät "KF108d" for DIN-A5 paper size

(with Siemens label, but developed and manufactured (1953-1958) by Hell GmbH)

In the photo above, the right-hand detail shows the printer mechanism that rests on the paper during the printing process (during scanning, it is parked in an upright position). Item a is toothed rubber wheel that rests on the paper and turns with it. The speed of this wheel is up-geared and drives a small rubber belt (item c). This belt continuously transfers ink from the narrow felt ink-roller (item b) to the tiny sapphire print wheel (item d). This print wheel is mounted in a small arm, and is pushed down onto the paper in the rhythm of the fax signal that is received from a scanning KF-108.

Hell KF108

KF 108 in Siemens-Hell advertizing

(source left image: ref. 71C)

In the 1950s, Hell developed several mechanical crypto machines for the German Bundeswehr, using technology licensed from the Swiss-based Hagelin Crypto AG company (founded by crypto pioneer Boris Hagelin). An example of this is shown below: the Hell H-54. This is a very compact (ca. 15x20cm) 6-wheel machine with a double printer (type-wheel, not Hell-spindle). This model was used until the late 1960s.

Hell H-54

Fig. 16: Hell H-54 pin-wheel cypher machine


Hell also revolutionized pre-press processing for printed media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) by developing the fast and precise Klischograph. This provided one-step operation of image scan/transfer and engraving of printing blocks and plates (later expanded for color images). The color Klischograph (ref. 83) reduced the time required to generate a single set of A4-size plates from one week, to four sets in one day!

Hell klischograph prototype

Fig. 17: Prototype of the Klischograph


In 1963, he invented the Chromagraph color scanner that provided 4-color separation [ref. 50]. The famous HallmarkCards company ran type DC-300 Chromagraph scanners around the clock (3 shifts) for many years (1970 - mid-1980s, ref. 80). Hell also revolutionized film scanning (exposure) technology, and in 1964 developed the world's first electronic type setting machine with digitized fonts: the Digiset (marketed in the USA by the Graphic Services Dept. of RCA as the "VideoComp" CRT typesetter). It had a digital magnetic core "font" memory (originally 24 kB in size) and CRT-projection onto film. In 1968, the "DS" (Datensichtgerät) was the first computer (Siemens, of course) with a keyboard, CRT monitor, and text editing software. Corporate management, in its usual "wisdom", declared this a dead-end technology and it was subsequently abandoned. The "DS" remained unsurpassed for 15 years, until IBM popularized a similar product in 1983: the PC.

The Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell & Co. KG (KG = Kommanditgesellschaft) company was converted into Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell GmbH in 1971, when Siemens AG increased its 49% minority share in the company to an 80% majority share (increased to 100% in 1981). In 1990, Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell GmbH merged with Linotype AG. The Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG acquired Linotype-Hell AG in 1995.

In 1978, Dr. Hell was awarded the prestigious Werner-von-Siemens-Ring for achievements in science and technology (ref. 49). He retired from active business activities in 1990.

On 11 March 2002, this pioneer of telecommunication passed away in Kiel, at the age of 100...

Hell dinnerware

Fig. 18: Logo on the dinnerware of the Hell Co. in Kiel


Hell stamp

Fig. 19: Commemorative post card from the 2005 German "National Stamp Day"

(note the "Presse Hell" printer in the black postmark stamp)

VIDEO AND AUDIO INTERVIEWS

Rudolf Hell at a party in his honor


AUDIO INTERVIEWS with Rudolf Hell (in his native language; © C. Onnasch, used with permission):

Rudolf Hell - about his time in Berlin

Rudolf Hell - about his time with prof. Dieckmann

Rudolf Hell - about the Hellschreiber

Rudolf Hell - about the Klischograph


AUDIO DOCUMENTARIES

30-minute radio documentary about Rudolf Hell

(in German; "Bayern 2" radio, "Wort" program, 6-January-2002)

3-minute documentary about Rudolf Hell in Kiel

(in German; source: Fachhochschule Kiel)

PATENTS

The table below lists a selection of patents that list Rudolf Hell as the inventor, and are related to various aspects of Hellschreibers. Worldwide, he is listed as (co-)inventor on nearly 1000 patents. Patents most closely related to the basic principles of Hellschreibers have been highlighted with bold face font. Scanned copies of the original patents are available by clicking on the respective patent number. The table lists the publication date of the patent award. Application for the patent may have been filed several (sometimes many) years prior to the actual award. Also, the date from which the patent rights apply may be different from the filing and the publication date. See the actual patents for details.

Patent number Patent office Year Inventor(s) Patent owner(s) Title (original) Title (translated)
450187 DE 1925 Dr. Max Dieckmann, Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr. Max Dieckmann, Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Lichtelektrische Bildzerlegerröhre für Fernseher Photo-electric image-decomposition ("dissector") tube for television
469012 RP 1926 Dr. Max Dieckmann, Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr. Max Dieckmann, Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Verfahren zur Gleichtrittregelung von Bildwalzen nach dem d'Arlincourtschen Prinzip Method for synchronization of image drums, based on a noise-insensitive adaptation of the d'Arlincourt principle
540849 DE 1929 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Vorrichtung zur elektrischer Übertragung von Schriftzeichen Device for the electrical transmission of text characters
541935 DE 1930 Dipl.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hellv Dipl.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Vorrichtung zur elektrischer Übertragung von Schriftzeichen Device for the electrical transmission of text characters   [addendum to 540849]
668821 DE 1933 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG Empfangsanordnung für die Übertragung von Schriftzeichen Receiving device for the transmission of text characters
658527 DE 1933 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG Anordnung zur Gleichlaufregelung von Telegraphengeräten, welche Schriftzeichen in Bildpunkte zerlegt zeilenmäßig aufzeichnen Arrangement for synchronization of telegraph apparatus that print lines of text characters decomposed into pixels
699712 DE 1933 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG Anordnung zur Gleichlaufregelung von Telegrafiegeräten, bei denen die Schriftzeichen in Bildpunkte zerlegt aufgezeichnet werden Device for the synchronization of telegraphy machines that print text characters decomposed into pixels [addition to patent 658527]
2113429 US 1934 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG - Arrangement for synchronizing of telegraph apparatus
146320 OE 1934 Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG Verfahren und Anordnung zur Gleichlaufregelung von Telegraphenapparaten Method and device for synchronization of telegraph apparatus
698550 RP 1935 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Anordnung zur Aufzeichnung von Schriftzeichen, die durch Bildelementen entsprechende Impulsreihen durch ein Magnetsystem und eine umlaufende Schreibspindel übertragen und deren Linien aus gleichlangen, parallel zur Auzeichnungsrichtung verlaufenden Strichen zusammengesetzt werden Device for recording characters, decomposed into pixel impulses, with a magnet-system and turning printer spindle, as lines made up of same-length strokes parallel to the printing direction
710253 RP 1936 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Anordnung zur Start-Stop-Synchronisierung von Bildübertragungsgeräten, Ferndruckern und Fernschreibern, bei denen die einzelnen Zeichen durch Impulse übertragen werden Device for start-stop sync of fax machines and teleprinters in which characters are transmitted as pulses
683828 DE 1936 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Druckhammer für Bildübertragungsgeräte und Fernschreiber Print hammer for image transmitting devices and tele-writers
150113 OE 1936 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, Dipl-Ing. Horst Rassow Siemens & Halske AG Sendeeinrichtung für Faksimiletelegraphen Sending device for facsimile telegraphs
668102 DE 1936 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Schreibsystem zur Registrierung von Morsezeichen, Schriftzeichen und Bildpunkten Printing system for Morse characters, text characters and pixels
155198 AT 1937 Max Dreßler, Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, Dipl-Ing. Horst Rassow, Willy Skawran Siemens & Halske AG Verfahren und Vorrichtung zur Synchronisierung von Bildübertragungsgeräten, Ferndruckern und Fernschreibern Method and device for synchronization of image transmitting devices, tele-printers and tele-writers
757304 RP 1937 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Anordnung zur Herstellung des Gleichlaufs von Fernschreibern Device for establishing synchronization of tele-writers [single motor for sender and printer]
694437 DE 1938 Dipl.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Schreiber für Morsezeichen und Bildtelegrafenimpulse Printer for Morse characters and image telegraphy pulses
707536 DE 1939 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Schreiber für Morsezeichen und Bildtelegrafenimpulse Printer for Morse characters and image telegraphy pulses
739880 DE 1939 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, Walter Ay Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Verfahren zur Übertragung von Schriftzeichen, die in Bildpunkte aufgelöst auf einer Sendewalze aufgetragen sind Method for transmission of text characters tat are decomposed into pixels and arranged onto a sending drum
741784 RP 1939 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG Fernschreiber, bei denen die Zeichen durch umlaufende, zu beginn jeder Abtast- bzw. Aufzeichenlinie ankuppelbare Organe gegeben und durch eine dauernd umlaufende, mit dem Geberantrieb synchrone oder annähernd synchrone Schreibspindel aufgezeichnet werden Teleprinter with single synchronous motor for sender and printer
513715 RP 1939 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Fernschreiber mit einer an einem Hebel angeordneten Farbrolle Teleprinter with a lever-mounted inkroller [spring-loaded]
1487291 RP 1940 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Anordnung für Fernschreiber mit einer unmittelbar mit einem Motor gekuppelten Schreibspindel Arrangement for teleprinters with a direct-drive printer-spindle [flexible, torsionally-stiff link]
2335410 US 1940 Rudolf Hell Rudolf Hell - Method of transmitting characters by means of revolving drums
2356584 US 1940 Rudolf Hell Rudolf Hell Verfahren zur sichtbaren Registrierung von elektrischen oder magnetischen Impulsen Recording spindle
839368 BD 1948 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Facsimile printing telegraph system and apparatus Method for printing electrical or magnetic pulses [Hell- or Morse printer with magnetic ink; with tape-recorder read head]
866052 BD 1948 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Blattschreiber nach dem Hell-System Page/sheet printer according to the Hell-system
848970 BD 1948 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Blattschreiber für Hellempfang Sheet/page printer for Hell reception
816422 BD 1948 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Anordnung zum Anlassen und Anhalten von Hellschreibern und ähnlichen Telegraphiegeräten Device for starting and stopping of Hellschreibers and similar telegraphy machines [remote control]
825277 BD 1948 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Blattschreiber nach dem System des Hellschreibers Hellschreiber sheet/page printer
832444 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren zur Übertragung von Schriftzeichen nach dem Hell-System mittels Blattschreiber Method for the transmission of characters with a page/sheet printer, per the Hell system
838322 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren zur Übertragung von Schriftzeichen Method for the transmission of characters [page/sheet printer]
803577 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Elektrischer Fliehkraftregler Electrical centrifugal governor
838765 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, Dipl.-Ing. Heinz Taudt Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren und Einrichtung zur Gleichlaufregelung von Empfangsanordnungen für Schriftzeichen-Übertragung nach dem Hell-System Method and device for the synchronization of receivers for character transmission per the Hell system
847024 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Blattschreiber für die Aufzeichnung von Schriftzeiche Page/sheet printer for the recording of characters
851826 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, Dipl.-Ing. Heinz Taudt Siemens & Halske AG. Einrichtung zur Gleichlaufregelung von Empfangsanordnungen für Schriftzeichen nach dem Hell-System Device for the synchronization of receivers for character transmission per the Hell system
863358 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren und Einrichtung zum Synchronisieren der Sende- und Empfangsanlage für Schriftzeichenübertragungen nach einem Abtastverfahren Method and device for the synchronization of sending and receiving equipment for the transmission of characters using a scanning method [derives sync info from blank top & bottom line of Hell-characters
9699210 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Fa. Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Vorrichtung zum Aussenden von in Bildelemente zerlegten Schriftzeichen nach dem Hell-System mittels Impulsfolgen Device for the transmission with pulse sequences of characters that have been decomposed into pixels per the Hell-system.
290749 CH 1949 - Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren und Anordnung zur Übertragung von Schriftzeichen Method and system for the transmission of characters
880318 BD 1949 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell, Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Zimmermann Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren zur Übertragung von Schriftzeichen nach dem Hell-System Method for transmission of text characters with the Hell-system
856605 BD 1950 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Anordnung für Fernschreiber mit Kontaktwalzen, bei denen durch Druck einer Taste eine Sperrvorrichtung betätigt wird Arrangement for teleprinters with contact-drum, in which a lock-out mechanism is engaged when a key is pushed
856606 BD 1950 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Verfahren und Einrichtung zur Synchronisierung von Hell-Schreibern Method and device for he synchronization of Hellschreibers [using separate pulses]
872515 BD 1950 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG. Faksimile-Schreiber für Schriftzeichenübertragung mit baulicher Vereinigung des Schreibsystems, des Antriebsmotors und des für den Betrieb des Schreib-systems erforderlichen Verstärkers Fax-printer for character transmisison, with integration of the printer-head, motor, and printer-amplifier [looks like Presse-Hell printer, with simple record-player motor with centrifugal regulator]
2658106 US 1950 Rudolf Hell Siemens & Halske AG - Facsimile Printing Telegraph System
853005 BD 1950 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell. Fernschreib-Empfangseinrichtung für elektrische Impulsübertragung vorzugsweise nach dem Fünfer- oder Siebener-Alphabet Teleprinter for elektrical pulse transmission, preferably 5- or 7-bit code [CRT-based bit pattern display for 5- or 7-bit codes]
2731322 US 1950 Rudolf Hell Rudolf Hell - Recording devices [variants of spindle and paper tape]
855876 BD 1951 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Anordung zur geheimen telegraphischen Nachrichtenübermittlung mittels Hellschreiber Device for secret telegraphic message transmission with Hellschreiber [crypto]
939159 BD 1955 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Fa. Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Verfahren zur Übertragung von mit einer Schreibmaschine auf einen bandförmigen Schriftträger gedruckten Schriftzeichen durch photoelektrische Abtastung der Schriftzeichen nach dem Hell-System Method for the transmission of characters printed onto tape medium, with photoelectrical scanning of the characters per the Hell system
2853551 US 1956 Rudolf Hell Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell KG - Page printer facsimile receiver
378940 CH 1959 Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Fa. Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell Verfahren und Vorrichtung zur Übertragung von Schriftzeichen, die entsprechend dem Hell-Code oder einem diesem ähnlichen Code in Bildelemente zerlegt sind, und zu deren Aufzeichnung mittels Blattschreibers im Faksimileverfahren Method and device for the transmission of characters that have been decomposed into pixels per the Hell-code or similar code, and for their recording with a facsimile method on a page/sheet printer
 

Patent office abbreviations:
 OE = Österreichisches Patentamt
 AT = Deutsches Reich, Reichspatentamt, Zweigstelle Österreich
 DE = Deutsches Reich, Reichspatentamt
 RP = Reichspatentamt
 DP = Deutsches Patentamt
 BD = Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Deutsches Patentamt
 US = United States Patent Office
 CH = Swiss Patent Office (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft - Eidgenossisches Amt für geistiges Eigentum)

Patent sources:

  • DEPATISnet, the on-line public database of the Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA, German Patent and Trademark Office)
  • PATFT, the on-line public database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Interesting development and patent activities in this same area are by Ernst Eduard Kleinschmidt, a German-born US immigrant. During the period 1915-1920 he developed electromechanical printing telegraphs with Charles Krum. Their improved synchronization method was used in the "Springschreiber" ("start-stop teleprinter"). It was licensed to the C. Lorenz company of Berlin-Tempelhof in 1926, and equipment was sold directly to the Deutsche Reichspost that same year. Siemens-Halske developed similar machines that avoided that Kleinschmidt patent (e.g., Blattschreiber "T typ 37"), as did the Creed Co. in the UK.

The Kleinschmidt patent listed below was filed August 1930, well after Hell's original patent filed April 1929. It also includes a double-helix printer spindle and a (notched) character code drum, though the construction is more complex. Kleinschmidt is behind the development of Teletype Corp. Model 17 teleprinter, which appears functionally to be a copy of the Hell Feldfernschreiber.

Patent number Patent office Year Inventor(s) Patent owner(s) Title (original) Title (translated)
2046328 US 1930 E.E. and E.F. Kleinschmidt Teletype Corp. Facsimile Printing Telegraph System and Apparatus -

The C. Lorenz company also obtained patents regarding the decomposition of text characters into pixels. The three patents listed below are basically identical, but filed and obtained in different countries.

Patent number Patent office Year Inventor(s) Patent owner(s) Title (original) Title (translated)
153370 OE 1935 - C. Lorenz AG Verfahren zur elektrischen Übertragung von Schriftzeichen, die nach Art der Bildtelegraphie in Einzelzeichen aufgelöst sind (Bildschreiber) Method for the electrical transmission of characters that have been decomposed into pixels per image telegraphy (image printer)
196491 CH 1936 - C. Lorenz AG Verfahren zur elektrischen Übertragung von Schriftzeichen, die nach Art der Bildtelegraphie in Einzelzeichen aufgelöst sind. Method for the electrical transmission of characters that have been decomposed into pixels per image telegraphy
744883 DE 1935 - C. Lorenz AG Verfahren zur elektrischen Übertragung von Schriftzeichen, die nach Art der Bildtelegraphie in Einzelzeichen aufgelöst sind Method for the electrical transmission of characters that have been decomposed into pixels per image telegraphy

Towards the end of WWII, the Allies began a massive, systematic search for and capture of German “war secrets” technology, scientific knowledge and industrial know-how. Upon the German surrender, as part of war reparations, this was expanded with confiscation of all existing (and new) German intellectual property, and of all associated rights (e.g., patents) in Germany and abroad. Companies in Allied countries, and others considering themselves as such, were given access to much of the records and material, as well as to factories and research institutes in occupied Germany, either for free or for a symbolic fee. In many cases, they found technology that was years or decades ahead of “Allied” technology. This official grab lasted for at least two years. Ref. 34, 35.


REFERENCES


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