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Journal Articles IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Year : 2015

A Mechanical Calculator for Arithmetic Sequences (1844-1852): Part 1, Historical Context and Structure

Abstract

Prior to 1900, almost every mechanical calculating machine was aimed at facilitating a standard arithmetic operation, and it tried to do so in a general way. For instance, the first machines were adding machines, and they could add any two numbers, depending on the size of the machine. In some cases, the machines were tailored for specific needs, such as adding nondecimal monetary units. Most of the early multiplying machines were in fact adding machines, but the multi- plicand could be stored, shifted, and reused in a new addition, although usually not automatically. Some machines were equipped with automatic shifts, and toward the end of the 19th century, some multiplica- tion machines were based on stored tables, allowing for shortcuts. All these machines were aimed at general multiplication.
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hal-01237523 , version 1 (03-12-2015)

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Denis Roegel. A Mechanical Calculator for Arithmetic Sequences (1844-1852): Part 1, Historical Context and Structure. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 2015, 37 (4), pp.90-96. ⟨10.1109/MAHC.2015.79⟩. ⟨hal-01237523⟩
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