University Ana G. Mendez
As early as the 1640’s mechanical calculators are manufactured for sale. Records exist for earlier machines, but BlaisePascal invents the first commercial calculator,a hand powered adding machine. Although attempts to multiply mechanically were made by Gottfried Liebnitz in the 1670’s the first true multiplyingcalculatro appears in Germany shortly before the American Revolution.
Around 1820, Charles Xavier Thomas created the first successful, mass-produced mechanical calculator, the Thomas Arithmometer, thatcould add, subtract, multiply and divide. It was mainly based on Leibnitz’ work. Mechanical calculators, like the base-ten addiator, the comptometer, the Monroe, the Curta and the Addo-X remained inuse until the 1970’s.
Shortly after the first mass-produced calculator ( 1820) Charles Babbage begins his lifelong quest for a programmable machine, his difference engine is sufficiently developedby 1842 that Ada Lovelace uses it to mechanically translate a short written work. Twelve years later George Boole, while proffesor of mathematics at Cork University, writes an investigation of theLaws of Thought (1854), and is generally reconigzed as the father of computer science.
In the late 1880’s, the American Herman Hollerith the recording data on a meddium that could the be read by amachine. After some initial trials with paper tape, he settled on punched cards, first know as “ Hollerith cards” he invented the tabulator an the key punch machines. Theses three inventions were thefoundation of the modern information processing industry.
The period from 1935 through 1952 gets murky with claims and counterclaims of who invents what and when. Part of the problems lies in theinternational situation that makes much of the research secret. Other problems include poor-record-keeping, deception and lack of definition.
In 1943 develpoment begins on the Electronic Numerical...