Morland's calculating machine, engraved "Samuel Morland, Inventor, 1666"; in leather box
Humphrey Adamson, mathemtical instrument maker active 1668-1676, made the calculating machine invented by Samuel Morland.
Morland’s machine was similar to the slightly earlier one of Blaise Pascal, but less complicated and more reliable. He marketed it to the moneyed elite with little mathematical expertise: ‘these incomparable instruments will show them how to play Addition and Subtraction in Lsd and whole numbers without a pen, ink or help of memory.’ Robert Hooke, writing on arithmetical aids in 1673, was dismissive: ‘The best way for addition and subtraction is by setting down the numbers on paper ... for those kinds of operations in arithmetic an instrument is wholly insignificant and at best will come short of common counters.’
- Object Number:
Open: 95 mm x 120 mm x 75 mm, .23 kg
Closed: 50 mm x 120 mm x 150 mm, .23 kg
- adding machine (stylus)
- Major-General H.P. Babbage
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.