Designed in 1610’s: Magic Calculator

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This amazing wooden box contains two calculating machines for performing multi-digit multiplication. They were designed in 1610’s by Scottish mathematician John Napier. This is one of the world’s first mechanical calculators, known as “Napier’s Bones”. Such boxes were widely used in Europe up to the late 1700’s.

Despite his significant achievements in Math and Theology, Napier was often perceived as a magician. Many people believed that he practiced Alchemy and Necromancy, traveled with a black spider in a small box, and used his black rooster to call up demons.

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Photos: Google Art Project

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