Q1) What is the second word on the first line? I am almost positive the second word on second and third lines is the name "Rolf" and therefore assume second word on the first line must also be a person's name

Q2) What is the first word (in German) on all three lines?

Q3) What is the English translation?

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Here is a image of the manufacturing company's laboratory inventory list. The entry highlighted yellow is the first pair of words above - the name following "erhalten" is of most interest to me. By the way, "Rolf" Sauer was an owner of this company, J.P. Sauer & Sohn

enter image description here

  • 4
    To me it looks like "erhalten" (= "received" or less likely "preserved"), but it would be helpful if you provided more context.
    – wonderbear
    Jun 29, 2023 at 3:58
  • I also see "erhalten". In the second instance it could be "Roth". However, more context is necessary, not only to provide a fitting translation, but also a correct transcription!
    – marquinho
    Jun 29, 2023 at 4:50
  • 1
    This looks like entries in an old "Sparbuch" where they wrote in when they received (=erhalten) money from you or they paid money to you, then you would be the one who received it...
    – Tode
    Jun 29, 2023 at 7:45
  • @marquinho You mean "transliteration"? Jun 29, 2023 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Quite sure the first word on all three lines is "erhalten" (meaning "received" or, much less likely, "preserved"), and the second word on each line looks like a (possibly abbreviated) signature of the person who received the thing or sum that "erhalten" refers to.

The signature on the second line looks like "Roth" or maybe "Rath", which could be either the full name or an abbreviation ("Namenskürzel") for a longer name like "Rothenburger" or the like.

The signature on the third line looks a lot like a slightly less readable version from the same "Roth" person.

The first line looks like it's a different Namenskürzel, possibly starting with a B, but mostly undecipherable, and I would be surprised if this was a full last name.

It's entirely possible that all three lines are from the same person. The handwriting in itself looks quite similar for all three lines, although the "er" part of "erhalten" is written a bit differently in the first line.

"Namenskürzel" or name initials are often used in internal documents or repeating business processes instead of a full signature.


I can't exclude "Rolf" for the second and third line, and if you get that from context, I can see it. FWIW, what brought me to say "Roth" was a) that an "f" would normally have a descender in both German and Latin cursive, b) the last letter doesn't look like f to me in the second image, it does more look like it in the third one. C), using a first name here would seem unusual to me, but probably possible in a family shop.

  • Anyone have ideas about my "Q1" (ie, what is the second word of the first line) ?
    – jjbinks
    Jun 30, 2023 at 22:00

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