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A Brief History of Mechanical Calculators

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Author:James Redin
Description: An essay on the historical evolution of calculating machines, from the abacus to Babbage's differential machine to today's computers. Contents include: the abacus; the Antikythera calculator; Napier's Bones; Leonardo da Vinci's design; Schickardís machine; the Pascaline; Leibniz' Stepped Drum; Calculating devices during the 18th Century; Thomas' Arithmometer; the Difference Engine; Thomas Fowler's Ternary Calculator; The Baldwin Principle and the Odhner Machines; The Partial Product Multiplying Approach; Troncets or Slide Adders - No Batteries Required; The quest for a keyboard; The "Macaroni Box" and Dorr Felt's Comptometer; William Seward Burroughs; The beginnings of the 10-key machine; Christel Hamann; The Victor Adding Machine Co.; Marchant Calculators; The Walther Company, Friden; The Curta, a Mechanical Wonder; Electromechanical Calculators.

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Calculators
Math Topics: Number Sense/About Numbers, History and Biography, Number Theory, Engineering

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