Otto Lilienthal

History of Computers and Computing, Calculating tools, Gadgets, Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal

No mistake, yet another celebrity should be mentioned as an inventor of calculating device, after Leonardo Da Vinci, Blaise Pascal, Gottfried Leibniz, and other not so illustrious men. This time it’s about Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal, the German pioneer of aviation, known as the Glider King

Otto Lilienthal was a holder of 25 patents in Germany, USA, Austria and Britain. Interestingly, only four of them relate to his passion—the flying machines (actually some refer to inventions by Otto’s brother Gustav, but are patented on Otto’s name). The rest being given (first patent was from 1875 for calorimotorishe maschine) for, among other things, games, mining machine, boilers, steam engines and a calculating device (rechenapparat).

Otto Lilienthal was a mechanical engineer by trade, who in 1883 established his own mechanical engineering company for boilers and steam engines in Berlin. The patent for calculating device (Patent DE44632, 08.04.1888) was probably driven by the needs of his workshop.

The patent drawing of Lilienthal

The patent drawing of Lilienthal’s calculating device

The calculating device of Lilienthal (see the patent drawings upper and below) consists of two rotatable discs and . The upper disc contains a number of windows (openings) with the adjacent multiplicands, which are visible through the window of the cover plate . The lower disc contains the multiplicands situated in such a way that, when a multiplier is visible through one of the holes of the disk , the corresponding product appears just below the window , provided in the upper part of the common cover plane

The patent drawing of Lilienthal

The patent drawing of Lilienthal’s calculating device


Previous articleNiels Larsen
Next articleClarence Locke

More from author

Related posts

Latest posts

USENET Explained – Everything You Need To Know

6 Facts about USENET USENET was popular and used before the World Wide Web and internet browsers were easily accessible to the general public and...

RSA Encryption Explained – Everything You Need To Know

The world runs on communications. From ledger checking and balancing to pen-pals, everyone has a need to transmit information. Unfortunately, not everyone is trustworthy...

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Explained – Everything You Need To Know

6 Facts about Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, or SMTP, was one of the first commercially available protocols that determined how electronic...

Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!