[Computing] [Mechanical Calculators]

Mechanical Calculators

Antikythera mechanism
Typeanalogous mechanical calculator, manual handling
Yearbetween 3rd and 1st century BC
Builderunknown
LocationAncient Greece (possibly Rhodes?)
Functionality                                                     position of sun and moon in the zodiac, moon phases, calendaric calculations (Greek, Egyptian), prediction of lunar and solar eclipses, perhaps a geocentric planetarium (hypothetical)
Specialityoldest known mechanical calculator
WeblinksThe Antikythera mechanism, Antikythera mechanism (Wikipedia)
Videos overview about functionality and usage, eclipse predictions,
calculation of the lunar orbit in the Antikythera mechanism
 
Schickard calculator
Typedigital mechanical calculator, manual handling
Year1623
BuilderWilhelm Schickard, mechanic: Johann Pfister
LocationTübingen, Württemberg
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division, extracting the square root
Specialityfirst digital mechanical calculator
WeblinksThe Schickard Calculator from 1623
Videos addition and subtraction, multiplication, division,
calculation of lunar orbits per solar year,
Wilhelm Schickard - inventor of the first mechanical calculator
 
Pascaline
Typedigital mechanical calculator, manual handling
Year1642
BuilderBlaise Pascal
LocationRouen, Normandy, France
Functionalityaddition, subtraction
Specialityoldest still existing digital mechanical calculator
WeblinksPascal's calculator (Wikipedia)
VideosHow the Pascaline Works
 
Leibniz calculator
TypeLeibniz wheel calculator (Stepped reckoner)
Year1673 (Leibniz wheel) / 1694 (calculator)
BuilderGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
LocationParis, Hanover, London
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division
SpecialityFirst Leibniz wheel calculator. This technology was used for almost three centuries for mechanical calculators.
Weblinks-
Videos-
 
Poleni calculator (prototype)
Typepinwheel calculator
Year1709
BuilderGiovanni Poleni
LocationPadua
Functionality-
Specialitynot working prototype, destroyed by Poleni himself
Weblinks-
Videos-
 
calculator of Anton Braun
Typepinwheel calculator
Year1727
BuilderAnton Braun (German Wikipedia)
LocationVienna, Austria
Functionality-
Specialityfirst faultlessly functioning pinwheel calculator, most likely inspired by Poleni's design
Weblinks-
Videos-
 
calculator of Philipp Matthäus Hahn
TypeLeibniz wheel calculator
Year1770 - 1773
BuilderPhilipp Matthäus Hahn
LocationKornwestheim, Württemberg
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Specialityfirst faultlessly functioning Leibniz wheel calculator
Weblinks-
Videos-
 
calculator of Johann Helfrich Müller
TypeLeibniz wheel calculator
Year1782 - 1784
BuilderJohann Helfrich (von) Müller
LocationGöttingen / Darmstadt
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Specialitysome improvements compared to Hahn's calculator
Weblinks-
Videos-
 
Arithmomètre
TypeLeibniz wheel calculator with movable result accumulator for long multiplications
Yearpatented 1820, serial production from 1851 until 1915
Builder1820 - 1870 Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar
1870 - 1887 Thomas de Colmar's son and grandson
1887 - 1902 Louis Payen
1902 - 1915 Louis Payen's widow
1915 Alphonse Darras
LocationColmar
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Specialityfirst commercially successful industrially manufactured mechanical calculator
WeblinksArithmometer
VideosHow the Arithmometer Works
 
Odhner arithmometer
Typepinwheel calculator
Year1875 - 1970
BuilderWillgodt Theophil Odhner
Location1875 - 1918 St. Petersburg, Russia
1918 - 1970 Göteborg, Sweden
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division, extracting the square and cubic root
Speciality-
WeblinksUS Patent No. 209,416 – Improvement in Calculating Machines (October 1878)
Calculating with Mechanical Calculators
VideosHow the Original Odhner pinwheel calculator works, Multiplication
 
Burkhardt arithmometer
TypeLeibniz wheel calculator
Yearsince 1885
BuilderArthur Burkhardt (German Wikipedia)
LocationGlashütte, Saxony
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Speciality derived from the Thomas arithmometer, first German mechanical calculator in serial production
Weblinks-
Videos-
 
Comptometer
Typemechanische Rechenmaschine mit Tastatureingabe
Yearab 1887
BuilderDorr E. Felt
LocationChicago
Functionalityprimarily addition and subtraction, multiplication and division also possible
SpecialityThe Comptometer was the first commercially successful key-driven mechanical calculator, patented in the United States.
WeblinksComptometer
VideosHow the Comptometer Works
 
Brunsviga
Typepinwheel calculator
Year1892 - 1969
BuilderBrunsviga Maschinenwerke
LocationBrunswick, Germany
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division, extracting the square and cubic root
SpecialitySince 1892 the Odhner arithmometer was manufactured under licence in Brunswick under the brand name Brunsviga. The calculators later were further developed independently. More than 500,000 Brunsviga calculators were manufactured.
Weblinks-
VideosBrunsviga B – Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Square Root
How Math Works: Inside a Brunsviga
 
Curta I / Curta II
Typehandheld mechanical calculator with Leibniz wheel
Year1947 until 1970
BuilderCurt Herzstark
LocationLiechtenstein
Functionalityaddition, subtraction, multiplication, division
Specialitylast generation of mechanical calculators at the top of that technology before they were replaced by electronic devices
WeblinksThe CURTA Calculator Page, Curta (Wikipedia)
VideosCURTA Mechanical Calculator Demonstration (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), CURTA Calculator Assembly (German)
 

See also







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