# Timeline of Computer

**Topics:**Computer, Personal computer, John von Neumann

**Pages:**13 (3527 words)

**Published:**June 21, 2013

600's bc

The abacus is developed in China. It was later adopted by the Japanese and the Russians. 600's ad?

Arabic numbers -- including the zero (represented by a dot) -- were invented in India. Arabic translations of Indian math texts brought these numbers to the attention of the Europeans. Arabic numbers entered Europe by means of Spain around 1000 ad and first became popular among Italian merchants around 1300. Until then, people used the Roman system in western Europe, and the Greek system in the east. 1488

The moveable-type printing press is invented by Johann Gutenburg. 1492

Francis Pellos of Nice invents the decimal point.

c. 1600

Thomas Harriot invents the symbols used in algebra. He also drew the first maps of the moon and discovered sunspots. 1600

Dr. William Gilbert discovers static electricity, and coins the term in De Magnete. 1614

John Napier invents logarithms.

1622

William Oughtred invents the slide rule.

1623

Wilhelm Schickard makes his "Calculating Clock."

1644-5

Blaise Pascal a young French mathematician develops the Pascaline, a simple mechanical device for the addition of numbers. It consists of several toothed wheels arranged side by side, each marked from 0 to 9 at equal intervals around its perimeter. The important innovation is an automatic 'tens-carrying' operation: when a wheel completes a revolution, it is turned past the 9 to 0 and automatically pulls the adjacent wheel on its left, forward one tenth of a revolution, thus adding, or 'carrying'. (Pascal is also a respected philosopher and the inventor of the bus.) 1660

Otto von Gürcke builds first "electric machine."

1674

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz designs his "Stepped Reckoner", a machine similar to Pascal's, with the added features of multiplication and division, which is constructed by a man named Olivier, of Paris. (Leibniz is also a respected philosopher and the co-inventor of calculus.) 1752

Ben Franklin captures lightning.

1786

J. H. Mueller, of the Hessian army, conceives the idea of what came to be called a "difference engine". That's a special-purpose calculator for tabulating values of a polynomial. Mueller's attempt to raise funds fails and the project is forgotten. 1790

Galvani discovers electric current, and uses it on frogs' legs. 1800

Alessandro Volta invents the battery.

1801

Joseph-Marie Jacquard develops the punch card system which programs and thereby automates the weaving of patterns on looms. 1809

Sir Humphry Davey invents electric arc lamp.

1820

Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar of France, makes his "Arithmometer", the first mass-produced calculator. It does multiplication using the same general approach as Leibniz's calculator; with assistance from the user it can also do division. It is also the most reliable calculator yet. Machines of this general design, large enough to occupy most of a desktop, continue to be sold for about 90 years. 1822-23

Charles Babbage begins his government-funded project to build the first of his machines, the "Difference Engine", to mechanize solutions to general algebra problems. The importance of his work is recognized by Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter who, gifted in mathematics, devises a form of binary arithmetic which uses only the digits 1 and 0. 1825

The first railway is opened for public use.

1826

Photography is invented by Benoit Fourneyron.

1830

Thomas Davenport of Vermont invents the electric motor -- calls it a toy. 1831

Michael Faraday produces electricity with the first generator. 1832-34

Babbage conceives, and begins to design, his "Analytical Engine". Could be considered a programmable calculator, very close to the basic idea of a computer. The machine could do an addition in 3 seconds and a multiplication or division in 2-4 minutes. 1837

Telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse.

1868

Christopher Latham Sholes (Milwaukee) invents the first commercial typewriter. 1872

One of the first large-scale analog computers...

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