The Fascinating History of the Modern Calculator | Personal finance
Even if we don’t think about it, mathematics and calculations permeate our daily lives. We calculate tips at restaurants, figure out how much money a grocery coupon will save us, and calculate the cost of our online purchases, including taxes and shipping. Some do these calculations in their head or by hand, but many of us have the instinct to seek out a calculator, whether online or on our phone.
Long before people walked around with supercomputers in their pockets, humans struggled with the problem of calculating values quickly and accurately. Before any devices developed for this purpose, people used their fingers and toes to count. When that wasn’t enough, they started counting with small objects like shells, seeds or pebbles. Eventually these methods also became too tedious or unsustainable, especially for trading, so inventors and mathematicians began to develop new ways of counting and calculating.
To explore the historical development of counting devices, Gigacalculator has compiled a list of significant events throughout the history of the modern calculator using historical and current sources. Read on to see how many of these scientific and mathematical breakthroughs you recognize.