Where Do Calculators Come From?

Josie K., Staff Writer

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The History of Calculators:

Hi friends, let’s talk about calculators! Calculators are some of the most innovative inventions in the world. I’m sure everyone in this school has used a calculator at least once in their life.

Let’s start with the beginning:

Calculators have been around for a long, long time. Calculators were first invented in Egypt 2000 BC. It was called an Abacus.The Abacus is a rectangular frame with horizontal rods. On each rod, there is a certain number of beads that can slide across. These beads represent tens, hundreds and thousands. Though it is not as advanced and simple as the calculators we use today, they were a major revolution in the technological industry at that time.

The next a major revolution in the calculator industry was in Europe in the 17th century.The slide rule (the newest advancement to the calculator we know today.)was an advancement to the abacus as it consisted of a sliding stick that could perform rapid multiplications by using logarithmic scales.Even though mechanical computing devices were around, the Slide rules were still used all the way up to the 1980’s as they were portable and could fit in one’s pocket.

Mechanical calculators were first invented in 1642 when Blaise Pascal created an invention that could solve arithmetic problems with two numbers. This invention, was named the Arithmometer, and was upgraded and improved until 1887, when Dorr. E. Felt’s patented the Comptoneter. The Comptometer had push keys similar to the calculators we use today. However, the Comptometer could not fit in your pocket, like the modern day calculator can.

The advancement to the pocket size calculator came in the form of the Curta Calculator in 1948. The Curta Calculator was a compact mechanical math device that could solve, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. The inventor of the Curta Calculator was Curt Herzstark, an Austrian Engineer born in 1902. During World War II. Herzstark’s intricate design for the Curta Calculator was used all the ways to the 19’s in rally cars and cockpits where quick calculations had to be made.

I hope from reading this article, you appreciate calculators more. 


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