Dating curta calculators

In the very beginning, of course was the abacus, a sort of hand operated mechanical calculator using beads on rods, first used by Sumerians and Egyptians around 2000 BC.The principle was simple, a frame holding a series of rods, with ten sliding beads on each.

Slide rules evolved to allow advanced trigonometry and logarithms, exponentials and square roots.But with the advent of prehistoric agriculture, commerce and astronomy, piles of stones became hopelessly inadequate.A rudimentary version of the abacus, dating to around 2,500 BCE, was developed in Sumeria (now Iraq) and subsequently spread to Europe and the rest of Asia.But that was where the technology more or less stuck for the next 3,600 years, until the beginning of the 17th century AD, when the first mechanical calculators began to appear in Europe.Most notably, the development of logarithms by John Napier allowed Edward Gunter, William Oughtred and others to develop the slide rule.

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