We may not be aware of it, but mathematics and calculation permeate our daily lives. Calculate tips at restaurants, determine how much you can save with grocery store coupons, and calculate how much your online purchases will cost, including taxes and shipping. Some people do these calculations in their heads or by hand, but many of us have the instinct to reach for a calculator, whether online or on our mobile phones.
Long before we walked around with supercomputers in our pockets, humans faced the problem of calculating values quickly and accurately. Before all the devices developed for this purpose, people used their fingers and toes to count. When that wasn’t enough, I started counting small things like shells, seeds, and pebbles. Eventually, these methods became too tedious and unsustainable, especially for doing trade, so inventors and mathematicians began to develop new methods of counting and calculating.
To explore the storied development of the counting device, Gigacalculator has compiled a list of significant events throughout the history of the modern calculator using historical and news sources. Read on to see how many of these scientific and mathematical breakthroughs you recognize.