Publication

The description and use of two arithmetick instruments

In his book—The description and use of two arithmetick instruments, published in 1673 in London, Morland described two invented calculating devices, which are working without charging the memory, disturbing the mind, or exposing the operations to any uncertainty. This is the first book on a calculator, written in English, and the first separate work on the subject after Napier’s Rabdologiae. There was little else in English on calculating instruments for more than 160 years from this book and the publication of Babbage in 1827. The book may also be considered the first comprehensive book in computer literature, as Blaise Pascal published nothing about his own machine, except an 18-page pamphlet in 1644.

The arithmetical machines of Morland were devised between 1662 and 1666 and were presented to the King Charles II and general audience. First machine (see the photo bellow) is a simple adding device, similar to the Ciclografo of the Italian Tito Livio Burattini, produced in the late 1650s.

From The Calculating Machines of Sir Samuel Morland

 

 "the first book on a calculator written in English, and the first separate work on the subject after Napier's Rabdologiae. There was little else in English on calculating instruments until Babbage. The work may also be considered the first comprehensive book in computer literature, as Pascal published nothing about his own machine except an eighteen-page pamphlet, now of the utmost rarity."

From Chrsti\e's Catalogue for Sale #1484  (23 February 2005).

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