Early Counting Devices






SUBJECT: Basic Science and Technology

TOPIC: Graduation of Early Counting

Device into the Present Day Computers.


We have counting devices that were used before the present day computer. These counting devices were:

(i) Napier’s bones
(ii) Slide rule
(iii) Pascal’s Calculator (Pascaline)
(iv) Leibniz Multiplier
(v) Jacquard’s Loom
(vi) Charles Babbage Difference Engine
(vii) Hollerith Census Machine

(i) Napier’s Bones: Napier’s bones were invented by John Napier in 1617. It was used for multiplication and division.

(ii) Slide Rule: The slide rule was invented in 1632. It was used for multiplication, division and logarithm.

(iii) Pascal’s Calculator (Pascaline): Pascaline was invented by Blaise Pascal in 1642 at the age of nineteen. It was used for addition.

(iv) Leibniz Multiplier: This was invented after Pascal’s calculator by Gottfried Leibniz to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

(v) Jacquard’s Loom: This mechanical counting device was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801. It was used to produce fabrics.

(vi) Charles Babbage Difference Engine: This mechanical counting device was invented by Charles Babbage in 1822. It was used for logarithm tables.

(vii) Hollerith Census Machine: This mechanical counting machine was invented by Herman Hollerith in 1888. It was used for the United State (US) 1890 census.


1. __________  was invented by John Napier, in 1617.

2. Pascal’s calculator was invented by ___________.

3. Leibniz multiplier can perform how many functions? _____________

4. State the functions Leibniz multiplier can perform.

5. Charles Babbage difference engine can do _____________.

6. ____________ was used for US 1890 census.

7. Mention two mechanical calculating devices.

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