The Calcumeter, an ad from 1904

Calcumeter of James J. Walsh Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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When we picture calculators, we picture a device that almost resembles a cell phone or a TV remote: thin, tall, not very wide, and a series of useful keys and buttons to help users make every kind of calculation imaginable. It hasn’t always been this way, though. In the early days of the 20th century, […]

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Centigraph Adding Machine

Centigraph Adding Machine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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5 Facts about Centigraph Adding Machine The Centigraph is an adding machine that goes back to 1880. The inventor of the Centigraph Adding Machine was Arthur E. Shattuck. Arthur E. Shattuck got 1 Canada and 4 USA patents for calculating devices. Centigraph Adding Machine was 15.3 cm long, 20.6 cm wide, and 15 cm high. […]

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Borland and Hoffmann adding machine

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Borland and Hoffmann adding machine Borland and Hoffmann adding machine In 1878 William Patterson Borland, native of Baltimore, who lived in Leavenworth, Kansas, and Herman Hoffman, a watchmaker in Leavenworth, patented a one-column key adder (see US patent 205993), similar to the earlier Adder of Marshall Cram […]

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Bassett

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Bassett Bassett Adder After disappearing from the market of Webb’s Ribbon Adder in the end of 19th century, another similar device appeared with much better market success. The so called Bassett Adder is another continuous band machine and was in production from 1909 till the end of […]

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BriCal

BriCal Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts about BriCal The BriCal was invented to quickly calculate pre-decimal British currency up to £500. This popular British calculator came in many different configurations for different maximum results and currencies. There are 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shilling in a pound, which make quick currency calculations difficult without a BriCal. BriCal […]

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Arithmachine of Henry Goldman

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Arithmachine of Henry Goldman In Chicago, USA, in 1898 was published a very good book, panorama of existing adding machines — “THE ARITHMACHINIST. A Practical Self Instructor in Mechanical Arithmetic”. In its 158 pages the author—Henry Goldman, not only described the existing state-of-the-art in this area, examining many calculating devices, including these of Stephenson, Lightning, […]

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Adder

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History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Adder The Adder of Arthur James Postans The British engineer Arthur James Postans (1867-1940) from South Kensington, London, applied for patent for an adding machine in 1902 in several countries. The British patent №GB190224868 (see the lower patent drawing) and the German patent were granted in 1904. […]

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Antikythera Mechanism – Complete History of the Antikythera Computer

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Antikythera Mechanism – Complete History of the Antikythera Computer Antikythera Mechanism Antikythera (literally "opposite Kythera", Kythera is the next bigger island) is a small Greek island lying on the edge of the Aegean Sea, between Crete and Peloponnese. In April 1900, group of Greek sponge divers, found a wreck of an ancient Roman galleon at […]

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Adix adding machine

Adix Adding Machine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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Before becoming the rectangular, digital device we know them as today, the calculator took on many different mechanical forms during the early 20th century. Josef Benedikt Pallweber’s 1903 invention — the Adix adding machine — is one such example of this. Pallweber’s invention might look strange to us today from our modern perspective, but there’s […]

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Add-A-Mite Explained - Everything You Need To Know

Add-A-Mite Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts About Add-A-Mite The design of Add-A-Mite is very similar to Webb Adder. This calculator is made from Aluminum, Iron, and Brass. This pocket calculator was manufactured by the company, Monogram of California Add-a-Mite History Far back into the past, written numbers used to be inexistent, with humans using only fingers and toes to […]

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Modern-day calculator

The History of Calculating Tools

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Since the dawn of time, the calculator has played an integral role in how the world functions. The calculation is key in regulating trade, determining the dimensions of land, and planning the construction of buildings, just to name a few essential uses. What’s more, early calculating devices eventually gave way to the first digital computers. […]

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Chinese South Pointing Chariot, model Lanchester (© Science Museum of London)

South-Pointing Chariot Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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While many of our most essential and frequently used devices were invented in the past couple of centuries and are continually improved to bring them to where they are today, some were conceptualized far earlier than just the 19th century. As a matter of fact, some — such as the earliest forms of what would […]

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Sector

Sector Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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Two Facts about Sector The sector is a military compass used as a calculating instrument.  Sector was introduced in the early 17th century and was used to perform easily diverse geometric and arithmetic operations. Sector History The Sector, also known as a compass of proportion, is a standard mathematical instrument that consists of two equal-length […]

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Astrolabe

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4 Facts About Astrolabe An Astrolabe is an invention that generates results with the universe’s help. It uses the positions of the stars or the sun to calculate results. It was once used in navigation to assist explorers and sailors in navigation. They calculated the distance by measuring the distance between the sun and the […]

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The difference engine

Pehr-Georg and Edvard Scheutz’s Differential Engine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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2 Facts about Pehr-Georg and Edvard Scheutz’s Differential Engine The Differential Engine of Pehr and Georg was an extended, smaller, and better version of Charles Babbage’s Differential Engine. While Babbage’s engine cost 15000 pounds in 1829 “and was yet incomplete,” Scheutz stated that he could build a machine for 20000 riksdaller banco (about 1638 pounds) […]

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An assembly drawing of the machine from Essays on Automatics

Leonardo Torres’s Calculating Machine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts about Leonardo Torres y Quevedo’s Calculating Machine A model of Thomas de Colmar’s arithmometer, dating from 1820, is on display in the Torres Quevedo Museum. The world utilized it until the introduction of more complicated machines capable of more sophisticated computations in the 19th century. This calculating machine uses a straightforward approach to […]

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Christel Hamann and his difference engine

Christel Hamann’s Differential Engine Explained: Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts about Christel Hamann’s Differential Engine All its printed plates were given to Astronomisches Rechen-Institute in Berlin, and the first and second results were published in 1910 and 1911, respectively.  It was an invention built on the idea of two astronomers, Julius Bauschinger and Jean peters, who wanted to do a further mathematical calculation […]

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George Grant and Difference Engine

George Grant’s Difference Engine Explained — Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts about George Grant’s Difference Engine George Grant’s difference engine was first displayed in 1876 at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. This difference engine was just one of the many calculation machines by inventor George Grant. George Grant also contributed to Botany, with a collection of previously undocumented plants at the Stanford University herbarium. […]

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General View of the Analytical Engine

Charles Babbage Analytical Engine Explained – Everything You Need To Know

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3 Facts about Charles Babbage Analytical Engine The Analytical Engine was a general-purpose, completely program-controlled, mechanical digital computer with no human intervention. The store intended to be large enough to contain 1,000 50-digit numbers, which was more than any computer constructed before 1960 could store. No evidence is there that anyone had ever thought about, […]

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Differential Engine – History of Charles Babbage Differential Engine

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Charles Babbage, 1791-1871. Portrait from the Illustrated London News, Nov. 4, 1871 Differential Engine A numerical table is a tool designed to save the time and labour of those engaged in computing work. The oldest tables which are preserved, were compiled in Babylon in the period 1800-1500 B.C. They were intended to be used for […]

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The History of Louis Couffignal’s Analytical Machine

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ON A PROPOSED ANALYTICAL MACHINE by Percy E. Ludgate Read February 23. Ordered for Publication March 9. Published April 28, 1909 I purpose to give in this paper a short account of the result of about six years’ work, undertaken by me with the object of designing machinery capable of performing calculations, however intricate or […]

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