1450 B.C. Abacus – China
1600 A.D. Napier’s Bones
- John Napier
- Scottish Mathematician.
- Bones were strips of ivory with numbers written on them.
1642 A.D. Adding Machines – France
- Blaise Pascal
- Scientist, Philosopher and Mathematician.
- He only nineteen years old when he invented this machine.
- Pascaline was the name of the machine and it worked with clockwise gears and levers.
- The machine was capable of addition and subtraction only.
- To honour him, programming language Pascal was named after him.
1692 A.D. Multiplying Machine – Germany
- Gottfried von Leibniz
- Improved upon Pascal’s machine and introduced a mechanism to carry out
- He is best know for his work with Isaac Newton in developing a branch of mathematics which we know as calculus.
- This device was capable of performing addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division. Could perform square root function too although
not always accurately.
1813 A.D. Difference Engine – England
- Charles Babbage
- An Englishman who was working on his doctorate, need to perform complex
calculations within given time period.
- Invented steam powered Difference Engine which could perform complex
calculations and print them out as well.
Early 1800s Jacquard Loom – France
- Joseph Marie Jacquard
- He was a weaver who developed a programmable loom.
- It used large cards with holes punched in them to control the pattern
- Others adapted the punch cards as primary form of input and they were in
use about 30 years ago.
1862 A.D. Arithrometer – France
- Charles Xavier Thomas
- Invented the first calculator with with commercial prospects.
- Won a gold medal for this inventions at the International Exhibition in
- His machine performed addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
and square root functions accurately.
1863 A.D. Analytical Engine – England
- Charles Babbage
- Conceived of a mechanism which could carry out long sequence of
calculations under automatic control.
- Ability to store 1000, 50 digit numbers in one second and multiply 20
digit numbers in three minutes.
- A form of punched cards was to be used for inputting data.
- Plans could not be materialized due to technological limitations of that
- First person to conceive of the “Stored Program Concept“.
- Recognized as “the father of computers“.
- Analytical Engine was finally developed in 1991 and is on display at
Charles Babbage Institute at Minnesota.
- Was accompanied by Augusta Ada Byron
- Daughter of famous poet Lord Byron.
- Excellent Mathematician who contributed tremendously to Babbage’s
- First female computer scientist and programmer.
- Computer programming language Ada has been named in her honour.
1896 A.D. Punch Card Machine – USA
- Dr. Hermann Hollerith
- Used cards with holes punched in them to speed up the collation job of the American Census of 1880.
- Holes were punched through cards to indicate presence of a particular criteria in a respondent.
- Holes punched in the card enabled wire brushes in the machine touch a metal plate which carried charge.
- Charge was transmitted to electric counters which incremented the numbers.
- Founded Tabulating Machine Company in 1896.
- In 1911, Tabulating Machine Company merged with two other companies to form Computing Tabulating Recording Company.
- Marketing expert Thomas Watson Sr. led the company and the company had a great success.
- In 1924, the name of the company was converted to International Business Machine Corporation.
1930s Turing Machine – England
- Alan Turing
- He was a mathematician who published a paper in late 1930s, describing capabilities and limitations of a hypothetical general purpose computing machine “Turing Machine”.
- Also helped in developing Robinson, the British Computer that was used to decode the messages encrypted by German Enigma Machine.
- In 1950, he published a book “Computer Machinery and Intelligence” which proposed the “Turing Test of Artificial Intelligence” which basically explains that the computer is capable of interacting with the user.
1939 – Atanasoff Berry Computer(ABC)
- Professor John Atanasoff accompanied by graduate student named Clifford Berry.
- Built a special purpose electronic computer which was capable of solving problems of equations.
1944 A.D. Mark-I
- Dr. Howard Aiken
Note: The list is incomplete and will be updated.