Before there are graphing calculators, spreadsheets and computer algebra systems, mathematicians and inventors searched for solutions to ease the burden of calculation. Today we celebrate human achievement in creating these calculators. Below are the 8 mechanical calculators before modern computers were invented.
1. Abacus (ca. 2700 BC)
Although abacus is not mechanical, it was one of the most widely used calculating device for many years. The abacus is one of the earliest counting machines used for arithmetic calculations. It made up of beads and frame. It was particularly used Japan, India and China. Although they are popular in Asia, the abacus has a long history which originated 2700 years ago in Sumeria. It was also used in Egypt, Persia (Iran), and Greece. The reason why the abacus is popular was probably because it’s very easy to use. Until now, there are still people who use this ancient tool. » Read more