History-Computer

Covering computing, gaming, all of tech

Thomas Ross – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who was Thomas Ross? Thomas Ross was an electrochemical expert from the University of Washington. He was among the first inventors to create a Machine that Thinks and could interpret given instructions. Unlike other inventors, Thomas wanted to create a machine that would use neural networks and act the same or better than humans. He […]

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Angela Ruiz Robles – Complete Biography, History and Inventions

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Who Was Angela Ruiz Robles? Angela Ruiz Robles (1895-1975) was a Spanish teacher, writer, and the pioneer inventor for the mechanical precursor of electronic books. In 1949 Aguiree awarded patent 190,698 for “Enciclopedia Mecánica”. Ruiz Robles had a solution for the weight of textbooks carried by her students: a device consisting of reels with text […]

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Philon of Byzantion – Biography, History and Inventions

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Philon of Byzantion – Biography, History and Inventions Philon of Byzantion Very little in known about the greek scientist Philon (ca. 280–220 BC) (sometimes called Philo) of Byzantion (Greek: Φίλων ὁ Βυζάντιος). Byzantion is an ancient greek city (founded in 667 BC), a precursor of Constantinople, the capital of Eastern Roman Empire, and Istanbul of […]

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Henri Maillardet – Biography, History and Inventions

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Henri Maillardet Around 1800, the Swiss mechanician and clockmaker Henri Maillardet (1745-1830), who worked then in London, created an extraordinary automaton, known as the “Draughtsman-Writer”. In fact, Maillardet’s “Draughtsman-Writer” was a part of large collection of automatons (some 10 machines), created (or at least demonstrated) by him in early 1800s. The “Draughtsman-Writer” (see the lower […]

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A digital reconstruction of the self-propelled cart of Leonardo. Attribution not found

The History of Leonardo da Vinci’s Automata

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Four Facts About Leonardo da Vinci’s Automata Leonardo da Vinci’s self-propelled cart is considered the world’s first robotic vehicle. While many of his designs were revolutionary, it’s unclear if any of them were actually created. Leonardo da Vinci’s robotic knight was designed to stand, sit, cross its arms, turn its head, and lift its visor. […]

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Ramon Llull – Complete Biography, History and Inventions

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Who Was Ramon Llull? Ramon Llull (pronunciation: rəˈmoɲ ˈʎuʎ) is a polymath who was best known for his work as a mathematician, figure in philosophy and Christian mystic in Majorca. He wrote the first major piece of literature on Mallorca. Though he does not exactly have a background in computing as it is known, his […]

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The History of Athanasius Kircher’s Automata

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Athanasius Kircher The prominent German Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) (see biography of Athanasius Kircher) was a famous 17th century scholar, who published around 40 works, most notably in the fields of egyptology, music, optics, magnetism, geology, linguistics and comparative religion. Kircher’s best-known work today is his Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652-54), which was a vast study […]

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Friedrich von Knaus – Biography, History and Inventions

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Friedrich von Knauss Friedrich von Knaus(s) (1724-1789), was a German watchmaker, mechanician and inventor, who built clockwork mechanisms which could, in a simple way, play musical instruments, write short phrases, or conduct other individual, specialized tasks. It is believed, that namely Knaus created the first writing automaton. Friedrich von Knaus was born on 7 February, […]

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The History of Gottfried Leibniz

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Gottfried Leibniz The great German polymath Gottfried Leibniz (see biography of Leibniz) was one of the first men (after Ramon Llull and almost at the same time with Athanasius Kircher), who dreamed for a logical (thinking) device. We have to mention also the fact, that Leibniz created the first mechanical calculator, suitable not only for […]

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Wolfgang von Kempelen

Wolfgang von Kempelen – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who Was Wolfgang von Kempelen? Wolfgang von Kempelen is a man revered for his inventions that created hot debate in the 18th  century. The Turk and the Speaking Machine are among his creations that are known to date. Wolfgang was the youngest of three brothers. The first brother, Andreas Johann Christoph von Kempelen, studied philosophy […]

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Joseph Marie Jacquard – Complete Biography, History and Inventions

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Who Was Joseph Marie Jacquard? Joseph Marie Charles Jacquard was a French weaver who played an important role in the development of a programmable loom. Joseph-Marie Jacquard was the inventor of the first loom to weave designs into cloth. His invention also used punch card technology, which eventually helped make computers in the mid twentieth […]

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Pierre Jaquet-Droz – Complete Biography, History and Inventions

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Who was Pierre Jaquet-Droz Pierre Jaquet-Droz was a Swiss born watchmaker and mechanical genius. His watches and mechanical inventions combined artistically beautiful designs and intricately detailed mechanisms to create stunning masterpieces. In addition to self-winding watches and mechanical birds, Jaquet-Droz created three androids. These devices were made to look like children that each had a […]

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Friedrich Kaufmann and the Trumpet Player (Complete History)

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Friedrich Kaufmann The Kaufmann family from Dresden (see the lower image), Saxony (Johann Gottfried Kaufmann (1751-1818), his son Johann Friedrich Kaufmann (1785–1865), and his grandson Friedrich Theodor Kaufmann (1823–1872), are famous with the construction of several ingenious musical instruments at the beginning of the 19th century—Harmonichord (in 1810, one of the many attempts to fuse […]

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Giovanni Fontana – Biography, History and Inventions

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Giovanni Fontana More then half a century before the extraordinary machine drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, the first technology manuscript of the Italian Renaissance was produced by a Venetian scholar and engineer—Giovanni Jacopo Antonio de la Fontana (known also as Johannes Fontana de Venetiis). Giovanni Fontana was born in the early 1390s in Padua (or […]

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Heron of Alexandria (Hero) – Complete Biography, History and Inventions

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Who Was Heron (Hero) of Alexandria? Greek mathematician and engineer Hero of Alexandria was active in his native city of Alexandria, a part of the Roman Empire. His work is representative of Hellenistic-era science. The aeolipile and other devices, such as the Hero engine, were powered by steam. One of his most famous inventions was […]

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Joseph Faber and the Euphonia Talking Device (Complete History)

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Euphonia The German Joseph Faber, born around 1800 in Freiburg im Breisgau, near Schwarzwald, came at a young age to Vienna, where he attended school and then entered the Imperial-Royal Polytechnic Institute, to study mathematics. He was fond also of occupying himself with physics and music. In the early 1820s, recovering from a serious illness, […]

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Thomas Hobbes – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who was Thomas Hobbes? Thomas Hobbes was an accomplished English philosopher, historian, and scientist. Many consider Hobbes to be one of the preeminent thinkers of the last thousand years. Many of his thoughts, theories, beliefs, and works have led to what we now know as AI (Artificial Intelligence). His ideas regarding mathematics, science, and optics […]

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Oliver evans

Oliver Evans and the Automated Mill – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who Was Oliver Evans? Oliver Evans was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and pioneer in the field of automation. He has been called the first great American inventor. Between his long series of accomplishments he designed and built the first fully automated industrial process in the 1780s, a flour mill in Newport, Delaware. Early Life Oliver […]

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Karel Capek and the Robot (Complete History)

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The creators of robot word, Karel Čapek (left), and his brother Josef Čapek (right) Karel Capek The robot word was conceived in the beginning of 1920 by the Czech writer and playwright Karel Čapek (see biography of Karel Čapek) (with the help of his brother Josef, an acclaimed painter, graphic artist, writer and poet), and […]

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Ctesibius of Alexandria – Biography, History and Inventions

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Ctesibius Ctesibius (Greek Κτησίβιος) of Alexandria, Egypt, is a Greek inventor and mathematician, the first great figure of the ancient engineering tradition of Alexandria. He is credited with a number of inventions, including a water pump, a water organ, a more precise water clock, and bronze spring and pneumatic catapults, several automatic machines, etc. His […]

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Early Automata

Early Automata Explained: Everything You Need to Know

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What is Early Automaton: Complete Explanation The word automat is the Latinization of the Greek word αὐτόματον, which means acting of one’s own will. It is more often used to describe moving machines, especially those made to resemble human or animal actions. Automaton is a self-control or operating machine designed to follow and respond to predetermined instructions. Generally, they […]

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The Electric Dog demonstration

The Electric Dog of Hammond and Miessner Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts About the Electric Dog of Hammond and Miessner  Seleno, the Electric Dog, is considered the ancestor of self-directing robots. The Electric Dog had the ability to “follow” its master around a room. The Electric Dog demonstrated what selenium was, how it worked, and how light affected its properties. Electric Dog of Hammond and […]

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The History of Elektro of Westinghouse

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8 Facts about Elektro of Westinghouse The Elektro was constructed from aluminum on a steel frame. It was 210 cm tall, weighing 120 kg. It was capable of performing 26 routines (movements), and a vocabulary of 700 words.Sentences were formulated by a series of 78 RPM record players connected to relay switches. Elektro had no […]

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Isaac Asimov - The inventor of law of robotics

Asimov’s Laws of Robotics: Everything You Need To Know

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What are Asimov’s Laws of Robotics: Complete Explanation Isaac Asimov, in his fiction science story named, ‘Runaround’ published introduced the Asimov’s Law of Robotics in 1942. Since, he created a story where the robots were handed over a responsibility for governing the whole human cavillation and the planet. If you are thinking that Asimov’s laws […]

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L. Frank Baum – Biography, History and Inventions

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L. Frank Baum – Biography, History and Inventions L Frank Baum In 1901 the famous American author Lyman Frank Baum (1856–1919) published a 245 pages illustrated novel, The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale. In this book he described a device, which can be viewed retrospectively as an early foreshadowing of features, analogous to those […]

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Basile Bouchon – Biography, History and Inventions

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Basile Bouchon – Biography, History and Inventions Basile Bouchon The first industrial application of a (semi)-automated machine was made in the early eighteenth century by a modest textile worker from Lyon, France. Basile Bouchon, working in one of the many silk centers in Lyon, invented in 1725 a way to control a loom with a […]

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Samuel Butler – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who was Samuel Butler? Samuel Butler was a great English novelist and essayist who lived in New Zealand from 1859 until 1864. Samuel shared his experience in New Zealand on the first pages of his satirical utopian novel Erewhon, published in 1872. Later, Samuel wrote another book, The Way of All Flesh, between 1873 and […]

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Emile Baudot – Biography, History and Inventions

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Emile Baudot The first widely adopted device to encode letters, numbers, and symbols as uniform-length binary sequences was the multiplexed printing telegraph, created in early 1870s by the French inventor Émile Baudot. The telegraph of Baudot revolutionized communications and made his name synonymous with rapid telegraphy. As a result the baud, abbreviated from Baudot, came […]

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The History of The Arabic Automata

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The Arabic Automata After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the end of 5th century, the western and central part of Europe was swept down by many barbarian tribes and fall into so called Dark Ages for some five centuries. During this time, the centers of world’s art and science moved to the […]

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Suanpan abacus

Abacus Explained — Everything You Need To Know

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5 Facts About the Abacus The origin of the abacus is still debated. Similar counting frame objects are believed to have been used in ancient China and Babylon. An abacus is known as a Schoty in Russian and a Suanpan in Chinese. Modern abacuses are used to assist students with visual impairments. Using an abacus […]

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Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio

Logarithms Explained: Everything You Need To Know

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What are Logarithms: Complete Explanation A logarithm is the power which a certain number is raised to get another number. Before calculators and various types of complex computers were invented it was difficult for scientists and mathematicians to calculate extremely large numbers. Logarithms could help them accomplish this. The following provides several examples. Four to […]

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Gadgets

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In this section will be presented some simple calculating devices, which are not so clever, to be presented in other sections of the site, but still clever enough, to be interesting as principle or to had market success. During the second half of 19th and first half of 20th centuriy, a large number of relatively […]

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Calculating tools

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools In this section will be examined some calculating tools, used by mankind in the past 2000 years. Of course we will start with the abacus, the most famous and of longest use calculating tool. Then will be examined two of the inventions of the Scottish nobleman John Napier—Napier’s […]

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Ezra Edgar Witter

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Ezra Edgar Witter Ezra Edgar Witter was a holder of many (at least 15) US and Canadian patents between 1888 and 1920 for various devices (mostly agricultural), like machines for making fences, marker for corn planters, corn harvesters, lubricator, match safe, hinge, etc. One of the patents of Ezra Witter was for adding machine (patent […]

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Elizur Wright

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Elizur Wright Elizur Wright In 1860s, Elizur Wright (see biography of Elizur Wright), an American mathematician and abolitionist, sometimes described as the father of life insurance in the United States, invented his Arithmeter (a large cylindrical slide rule, equivalent of a linear slide rule some 20 meters […]

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The patent model of Young’s calculating device (© National Museum of American History, Washington)

Samuel Young — Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who was Samuel Young? Samuel Young was a man who lived in the mid-1850s and started his life working as a gardener. Young eventually became interested in working on mathematical devices and calculating machines. He went on to invent a calculating device that was also known as the Young calculating machine. A few years later […]

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Jacot des Combes

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Jacot des Combes Eugène Jacot des Combes Yet another Parisian watchmaker (after Ernest-Narcisse Lobbé) invented an early keyboard adder in 1850s—Eugène Jacot des Combes was a holder of two french patents for adding machines (machine à additionner) (Brevet №43781 from 1 February 1860, and Brevet №68027 from […]

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Napier’s Bones Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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Facts about Napier’s Bones Napier’s Bones was one of several methods John Napier invented to simplify calculating large numbers. Napier’s Bones and other calculating techniques were published in 1617 in a book titled Rabdologiae, or speaking rods, shortly before Napier’s death. Napier’s Bones were in use for hundreds of years, until mechanical calculators were invented. […]

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Charles Weiss

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History of Computers and Computing, Mechanical calculators, 19th century, Charles Weiss Charles Weiss On August 31, 1886, Charles W. Weiss of Brooklyn, New York, received a patent (U.S. patent №348437) for an Electro Magnetic Adding Machine. Weiss acted as an assignor to the Kruse Check & Adding Machine Company in New York, a manufacturer of […]

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Troncet

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Troncet Calculators of Louis Troncet After the slide adders of Claude Perrault, Caze and Heinrich Kummer, in 1889 the frenchman Louis-J. Troncet (b. 1850), a teacher (in Buzançais, département de l’Indre) and director of a school (in Reuilly), created his version of this type of calculator, which […]

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Winter and Crary – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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During the age of invention, some ideas were simply too big and too great to be contained by one mind. As such, there are several notable inventor duos throughout the history of the computer. One such pairing is that of Mary E. Winter and Cushman W. Crary, a pair of Illinoisans whose work in the […]

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Frederick Warren

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Frederick Parsons Warren around 1868 (© Michigan State University) Calculating Engine of Frederick Warren In 1864, Frederick Warren, a young man of exceptional abilities from Three Oaks, a village near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, then soldier in the Civil War (12th Regiment of the Michigan Infantry), read an article for the Difference Engine […]

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Webb

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Charles Henry Webb in 1877 Webb’s Adder and Ribbon Adder The American poet, author, journalist and inventor Charles Henry Webb was a very interesting person. Born on January 24th, 1834, in New York, he received his preliminary education in his native place, and in early youth he ran away to sea. He was absent three […]

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Shohé Tanaka

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Shohé Tanaka Adding Machines of Shohé Tanaka In early 1890s the Japanese scientist and inventor Shohé Tanaka (1862-1945) (see biography of Shohé Tanaka), at this time making his doctoral studies in Berlin, Germany, devised an adding machine. In 1895 he applied for and later obtained several patents […]

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Lawrence Swem

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Lawrence Swem On 8 June, 1886, Lawrence W. Swem, a jeweler of West Liberty, Muscatine, Iowa, patented a keyboard adder (US patent 343506), somewhat similar to the earlier adder of Marshall Cram from 1877 and the later Centigrpah of Arthur Shattuck from 1891. Lawrence Swem was a holder of 6 more patents for various devices […]

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Elmore Taylor

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Elmore Taylor Elmore Taylor In 1874, Elmore W. Taylor of Franklin, Indiana, patented a circular adding machine (US patent 155772), assigning one-half to his brother Richard T. Taylor. The patent model of the device (up to 1880, the US Patent Office required inventors to submit a model […]

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Tachylemme of Chambon Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts about Tachylemme of Chambon The Tachylemme was a specialized calculator, showing the daily interest on sums of money at various rates. The device was made of wood, paper, metal and glass, with measurements: 175 x 100 x 35 mm, and weighed 410 g. Tachylemme of Chambon could not do operations in huge numbers. […]

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Thomas Strode adding machine

Thomas Strode – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions

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Who was Thomas Strode? Thomas T. Strode was the second child in his family, born in Coatesville on 11 February 1810. His parents were William Strode (Dec. 26, 1782-Dec. 25, 1851), a farmer, and Elizabeth Strode (Jan. 7, 1787-Apr. 1, 1861). He had an elder brother, Richard (1808-1848), and a younger brother and 5 sisters—Elizabeth […]

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Albert Stettner

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Albert Stettner Albert Stettner Albert Stettner Jr., a mechanic from Berlin, Prussia, was a holder of 2 German (DE21236 and DE23098 from 1882) and 1 USA (US277627 from 1883) patents for keyboard adding machines. The patents DE23098 and US277627 are describing the same device. Let’s examine the […]

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Cyrus Spalding

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Spalding Adding Machine Cyrus G. Spalding of Boston, Massachusetts, was a holder of two US patents for adding machines: №146407 from January, 13th, 1874 and №293809 from February 19th, 1884. The second patent of Spalding (see the lower patent drawing) is for a device (an improved version of the first patent’s device), which had an […]

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