Pascaline Calculator (1642)

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Pascal was a French mathematician and philosopher. Pascal did considerable research with regard to the pressure of liquids. He explained principle that described how a liquid in a vessel carried pressure equally in all directions. This came to be known as Pascal's Law, and had importance in the field of hydraulics. Pascal's interest in calculating may have come from a desire to assist his father with the numerous calculations required in his job as Superintendent of Taxes. In about 1642, Pascal developed a calculator called the "Arithmatique" or "Pascaline."

Pascal's device used a series of toothed wheels, which were turned by hand and which could handle numbers up to 999,999.999. Pascal's device was also called the "numerical wheel calculator" and was one of the world's first mechanical adding machines.


History of Computing

An Encyclopedia of the People and Machines that Made Computer History

Copyright © 1982-2000, Lexikon Services "History of Computing" ISBN 0-944601-78-2

See Photo Copyright Info

Return to Gallery Index