Blaise Pascal – The Mechanical Calculator

The mechanical calculator was invented 1642 by the French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal. The calculator was an adding machine, which could perform additions, subtractions, multiplication and division. It was called Pascal’s calculator or the Pascaline. Pascal made the calculator to ease his father’s calculations and recalculations of taxes owned and paid. As the Pascaline was very expensive it became more like a toy and a status symbol for rich people (sounds a bit like the iPad today doesn’t it?).


The adding machine was commonly used as office equipment until approximately 1985. It was then phased out in favour of the computers. The machine has rarely been seen during the 21th century.


Even if there are smarter calculators etc. today, I can imagine how nice it would be to have a Pascaline during the enlightenment. Everything must have gone so much faster. Evan if calculating easy things it is much easier to have a calculator, to be really sure of calculating correctly. On offices etc. where you work with numbers all day long something mechanically must have been great. I at least think that all kind of math would be harder and more boring if we had no kinds of calculators. Because then it would take so long time, and it would be easier to make small mistakes.


About Blaise Pascal’s adding machine:'s_calculator



By: Nora JvS

Postat av: Kimia

Nice reflections!

I think that you are right about it making your like easier, but don't you think that it makes us a little bit more stupid then they were back in those days? For example in ancient Greece they were very smart and they didn't have calculators. Maybe we would be smarter if we didn't have calculator, bacause they say that maths is the most useful knowledge and you can use it for everything. I don't like maths so therefore I like the calculator but i think that it made us generally more stupid.

2011-04-15 @ 11:17:44
Postat av: Nora

I think you're right that it makes us think less ourselves and that we relay on the calculator, in some cases too much. But still I think it's great that there are calculators otherwise advanced math would be evan more advanced and it would take ever longer time to calculate. To make us not relay on it too much it is important that we do not use it so much when we start learning math so we learn how to calculate ourselves as well :)

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2011-07-12 @ 03:12:03
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