# Mechanical Calculator

A Mechanical Calculator is an mechanical device that can be used to perform basic arithmetic operations.

**AKA:**Calculating Machine.**Example(s):****Counter-Example(s):****See:**Computing System, Arithmetic, Wilhelm Schickard, Napier's Bones, Blaise Pascal, Tax Collector, .

## References

### 2018a

- (Wikipedia, 2018) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_calculator Retrieved:2018-12-23.
- A
**mechanical calculator**, or**calculating machine**, is a mechanical device used to perform automatically the basic operations of arithmetic. Most mechanical calculators were comparable in size to small desktop computers and have been rendered obsolete by the advent of the electronic calculator.Surviving notes from Wilhelm Schickard in 1623 reveal that he designed and had built the earliest of the modern attempts at mechanizing calculation. His machine was composed of two sets of technologies: first an abacus made of Napier's bones, to simplify multiplications and divisions first described six years earlier in 1617, and for the mechanical part, it had a dialed pedometer to perform additions and subtractions. A study of the surviving notes shows a machine that would have jammed after a few entries on the same dial,

^{[1]}and that it could be damaged if a carry had to be propagated over a few digits (like adding 1 to 999).^{[2]}Schickard abandoned his project in 1624 and never mentioned it again until his death 11 years later in 1635. Two decades after Schickard's supposedly failed attempt, in 1642, Blaise Pascal decisively solved these particular problems with his invention of the mechanical calculator.^{[3]}Co-opted into his father's labour as tax collector in Rouen, Pascal designed the calculator to help in the large amount of tedious arithmetic required;^{[4]}it was called Pascal's Calculator or Pascaline.^{[5]}Thomas' arithmometer, the first commercially successful machine, was manufactured two hundred years later in 1851; it was the first mechanical calculator strong enough and reliable enough to be used daily in an office environment. For forty years the arithmometer was the only type of mechanical calculator available for sale.^{[6]}The comptometer, introduced in 1887, was the first machine to use a keyboard which consisted of columns of nine keys (from 1 to 9) for each digit. The Dalton adding machine, manufactured from 1902, was the first to have a 10 key keyboard.^{[7]}Electric motors were used on some mechanical calculators from 1901.^{[8]}In 1961, a comptometer type machine, the Anita mk7 from Sumlock comptometer Ltd., became the first desktop mechanical calculator to receive an all electronic calculator engine, creating the link in between these two industries and marking the beginning of its decline. The production of mechanical calculators came to a stop in the middle of the 1970s closing an industry that had lasted for 120 years. Charles Babbage designed two new kinds of mechanical calculators, which were so big that they required the power of a steam engine to operate, and that were too sophisticated to be built in his lifetime. The first one was an*automatic*mechanical calculator, his difference engine, which could automatically compute and print mathematical tables. In 1855, Georg Scheutz became the first of a handful rof designers to succeed at building a smaller and simpler model of his difference engine.^{[9]}The second one was a*programmable*mechanical calculator, his analytical engine, which Babbage started to design in 1834; "in less than two years he had sketched out many of the salient features of the modern computer. A crucial step was the adoption of a punched card system derived from the Jacquard loom”^{[10]}making it infinitely programmable.^{[11]}In 1937, Howard Aiken convinced IBM to design and build the ASCC/Mark I, the first machine of its kind, based on the architecture of the analytical engine;^{[12]}when the machine was finished some hailed it as "Babbage's dream come true".^{[13]}

- A

- ↑ Michael Williams, History of Computing Technology, IEEE Computer Society, p. 122 (1997)
- ↑ Michael Williams, History of Computing Technology, IEEE Computer Society, p. 124, 128 (1997)
- ↑ Prof. René Cassin, Pascal tercentenary celebration, London, (1942), Magazine Nature
- ↑ Jean Marguin (1994), p. 48
- ↑ See Pascal's calculator#Competing designs
- ↑ Beside two arithmometer clone makers from Germany and England, the only other company to offer calculators for sale was Felt & Tarrant from the USA which started selling their comptometer in 1887 but had only sold 100 machines by 1890.
- ↑ Ernst Martin p. 133 (1925)
- ↑ Ernst Martin p. 23 (1925)
- ↑ #MARG,Jean Marguin p. 171, (1994)
- ↑ Anthony Hyman,
*Charles Babbage, pioneer of the computer*, 1982 - ↑ "The introduction of punched cards into the new engine was important not only as a more convenient form of control than the drums, or because programs could now be of unlimited extent, and could be stored and repeated without the danger of introducing errors in setting the machine by hand; it was important also because it served to crystallize Babbage's feeling that he had invented something really new, something much more than a sophisticated calculating machine." Bruce Collier, 1970
- ↑ I. Bernard Cohen, p. 66-67, (2000)
- ↑ Brian Randell, p. 187, 1975

### 2018b

- (haverford.edu, 2018) ⇒ http://ds-wordpress.haverford.edu/bitbybit/bit-by-bit-contents/chapter-three/3-3-mechanical-calculators/ Retrieved:2018-12-23.
- QUOTE: When we last examined the state of mechanical calculation, Thomas de Colmar had invented and marketed a reliable four function calculator, called the Arithmometer. Based on the Leibniz wheel, it was the first major advance in calculator technology since the late 1700s and Thomas’s design was widely emulated. For decades, Thomas-type machines were the only truly useful calculators on the market. But the situation changed dramatically after 1875. As a result of advances in machine tooling and mechanical engineering, it became possible to do more with gears and axles than ever before. A veritable explosion in calculator design and manufacturing took place, as a growing number of inventors sensed a need and sought to fill it.

### 2018c

- (The Museum of HP Calculators, 2018) ⇒ http://www.hpmuseum.org/ffhand.htm Retrieved:2018-12-23.
- QUOTE: The first four function mechanical calculator was made by Gottfried Leibniz in 1694. His design was the first to use the stepped drum mechanism which remained in use for more than two centuries. Due to the accuracy needed in construction, such machines didn't become commercially feasible until the mid-1800s. They generally performed addition and subtraction directly and performed multiplication and division with a little help from the user. They usually had a set of levers or keys to input a number, a result indicator where the results of addition and subtraction appeared and a revolution counter which could count the number of items added (or the number of times a number was multiplied/divided.)

### 1991

- (Efron & Tibshirani, 1991) ⇒ Bradley Efron, and Robert Tibshirani. (1991). “Statistical Data Analysis in the Computer Age.” In: Science, 253(5018). 10.1126/science.253.5018.390
- Most of our familiar statistical methods, such as hypothesis testing, linear regression, analysis of variance, and maximum likelihood estimation, were designed to be implemented on
**mechanical calculators. ...**

- Most of our familiar statistical methods, such as hypothesis testing, linear regression, analysis of variance, and maximum likelihood estimation, were designed to be implemented on