Who Was William Haines

William Haines was an American who invented a remarkable mechanical calculator in the 19th century. Unlike other great inventors such as Gottfried Leibniz, who invented the stepped reckoner, and  Blaise Pascal, a famous French mathematician who created Pascaline, William Haines Calculator was not very popular.

Although William’s invention lacked global attention, his mechanical calculator has been well-preserved in the National Museum of American History, Washington, DC, and many scholars testify of its brilliant performance. 

The mechanical calculator of William Haines
The mechanical calculator of William Haines (© National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.)

Early Life

Almost nothing is known about William M. Haines. We try to trace his early life, and every source points to a different William Haines who lived in the 19 century. The city directories of Rochester mention in 1845 a civil engineer named William Haines, and in 1851, they mention William Haines as a clerk. He could be the inventor of this early mechanical calculator.

Career

There is no information about William’s career. One source, the city directories of Rochester, reported one who was an engineer and another who worked as a clerk. However, it is not clear if the person mentioned in the city directories of Rochester is the real inventor of the great mechanical calculator.

What did William Haines Invent?

He invented a calculating device known as The mechanical calculator of William Haines. In 1849, William M. Haines of Rochester, New York, patented a mechanical calculator (US patent 6403). The patent model of the device was effective up to 1880. During the time, the US Patent Office required inventors to submit a model with their patent application.

The mechanical calculator of William Haines the patent drawing
The mechanical calculator of William Haines (the patent drawing)

William’s Mechanical calculator was a wood and brass adding and subtracting device with overall measurements: 3 cm x 15.3 cm x 14.2 cm. It had a wooden base, a circular metal mechanism, and a single-digit mechanical carry, implemented through an axle.

The machine’s center was a brass disc, having a hundred circular holes around the outside. Around it is a slightly elevated stationary circle or ring, with more significant digits from 1 to 9 engraved around it, representing 10, 20,… through 90. Between each of these numbers, there are smaller digits from 1 to 9, which stops at 0.

William Haines: Marriage, Divorce, Children, and Personal Life

Net Worth

No information has been shared about William’s net worth.

Marriage 

It is not known whether William was married or remained single.

Divorce

Nothing has been shared about William’s divorce.

Children

No information has been provided about William’s children.

Tragedy

Nothing is known about William’s death.

William Haines: Awards and Achievements 

There is no award linked to William Haines. Maybe for the fact that his invention was not very popular. 

William Haines – Complete Biography, History, and Inventions FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Who was William Haines?

William was one of the early mathematicians who invented an effective mechanical calculator in the 19th century.

What did William Haines invent?

He invented a mathematical tool called the Mechanical calculator of William Haines. The mechanical calculator of William Haines was a wood and brass adding and subtracting device. It had a wooden base, a circular metal mechanism, and a single digit mechanical carry, implemented by means of an axle. At the center of the machine is a brass disc, having a hundred circular holes around the outside.

Why did William Haines invent his mechanical calculator?

William Haines wanted to expound his mathematical intelligence by creating a mechanical machine that would help in quick calculations.

When was William Haines born?

William’s birth date is unknown.

When did William Haines die?

William’s death is unknown.

About the Author

More from History-Computer

  • Available here: http://www.computer-timeline.com/timeline/william-haines/
  • Available here: https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/adders/circular-adders
  • Available here: https://arquivo.fluxo.info/conteudo/history-computer.com/history-computer.com/CalculatingTools/Gadgets/Haines.html