# Stepped Reckoner

In the 1670s, German Baron Gottfried von Leibniz took mechanical calculation a step beyond his predecessors. Leibniz, who entered university at fifteen years of age and received his bachelor's degree at seventeen, once said: "It is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labor of calculation, which could be safely relegated to anyone else if machines were used."

Leibniz extended Blaise Pascal's ideas and, in 1671, introduced the Staffelwalze / Step Reckoner (aka the Stepped Reckoner), a device that, as well as performing additions and subtractions, could multiply, divide, and evaluate square roots by a series of stepped additions. Pascal's and Leibniz's devices were the forebears of today's desktop computers, and derivations of these machines, including the Curta calculator, continued to be produced until their electronic equivalents finally became readily available and affordable in the early 1970s.

In a letter of March 26, 1673 to Johann Friedrich, Leibniz described its purpose as making calculations "leicht, geschwind, gewiÃŸ" (sic), i.e. easy, fast, and reliable. Leibniz also added that theoretically the numbers calculated might be as large as desired, if the size of the machine was adjusted; quote: "eine zahl von einer ganzen Reihe Ziphern, sie sey so lang sie wolle (nach proportion der grÃ¶ÃŸe der Machine)" (sic). In English: "a number consisting of a series of figures, as long as it may be (in proportion to the size of the machine)".

Centuries: 16th century - 17th century - 18th century

1640s 1650s 1660s - 1670s - 1680s 1690s 1700s
1670 1671 1672 1673 1674
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## Events and Trends

• Newton and Leibniz independently discover calculus.

Anthem
"Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Born July 1 (June 21 Old Style) 1646
Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony
Died November 14 1716
Hannover, Hanover
Nationality German
Blaise Pascal (pronounced [blɛːz paskal]), (June 19 1623 – August 19 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father.
8th century - 9th century - 10th century
850s  860s  870s  - 880s -  890s  900s  910s
885 886 887 - 888 - 889 890 891

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Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
desktop computer is a computer made for use on a desk in an office or home and is distinguished from portable computers such as laptops or PDAs. Desktop computers are also known as microcomputers.
Curta was a small, hand-cranked mechanical calculator introduced in 1948. It had an extremely compact design, a small cylinder that fit in the palm of the hand. It could be used to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and, with more difficulty, square roots and