The Abacus

The Abacus

An abacus is a calculation tool, often a frame with beads sliding on wires. Used for centuries before the adoption of the written Arabic numeral system, it is still utilized by merchants in China and elsewhere. Though often attributed to the Chinese, it is thought to have been invented by the ancient Babylonians. The first abacus was probably a flat tablet covered in sand. Lines were drawn in the sand and pebbles were used to make calculations. What is the origin of the instrument’s name? More…

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