Was there life before computer?

calculating instruments before the digital era

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The Educated Monkey

In the early years of '900 had great success this amazing multiplication table, made by the Educational Novelty Company of Dayton, USA. Early example of mathematical toy, it allows the children to learn the multiplication tables without effort, as the advertising said: "No matter if the students are lazy or careless, the monkey never loses patience". Why the name? Consul was a trained monkey of the time, well known in the circuses of USA and Europe.

Set the feets on the numbers to multiply and the result magically appears between the "hands". Of course it also performs divisions: dividend fits between the "hands", divisor fits at right or left feet and the result is read at the other feet. As showed in the example below there is also a square function, but in any case you can"t enter any number bigger than 12.

Can also be inserted a card that allows to add and subtract: in this way the children can easily understand the relationship between addition and multiplication, It' a true programmable calculator! Still in commerce and is used in many schools.


Go to the adding version

This emulation was written in Java by Reinhard Atzbach. Visit his website full of informations about old calculating machines. Here you can download the executable program.

Nicola Marras 2008

Credits: Reinhard Atzbach


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