Arithmetical compendium

< 22 of 783 > Back

probably made in London

Postcard of Arithmetical compendium.
© National Museums Scotland

Arithmetical compendium

This arithmetical compendium - a calculating device - was devised in 1667 by Sir Charles Cotterell and made around 1670, probably by Robert Jole, a scientific instrument maker based in London.

The compendium combines a bead abacus with Napierian Rods - a set of numbering rods for teaching arithmetic, named after John Napier of Merchiston. The abacus is used to avoid writing down the partial products of multiplication using the rods.

The continuing popularity of Napierian Rods and their integration in other devices illustrates the difficulty that many had with written methods of multiplication and division in the 17th and 18th century.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-100-102-717-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1969.28
Date: Around 1670
c. 1670
Material: Boxwood case, brass binding pieces / engraved paper, silvered brass cursor, silvered brass tool. Inscription: B Robert*Jole B / T*fecit*T; The Index of ye Quotient The Index of ye Multiplier Divisor Multiplic and; The Fore Rule
Dimensions: 184 mm x 59 mm x 19 mm
What: Arithmetical compendium / case
Who: John Napier (Eponym)
Robert Jole, London (Maker)
Sir Charles Cotterel
Where: England, London
Description: Arithmetical compendium of strip form, Napier's Bones and abacus type counting board, by Robert Jole, London, c. 1670
  • Bryden, D. J., 'A Didactic Introduction to Arithmetic, Sir Charles Cotterell's 'Instrument for Arithmetick' of 1667' in History of Education 2 (1973), pp 5-18, 41-2 
Related Records:
< 22 of 783 > Back
Powered by Scran