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Georg Scheutz and the First Printing Calculator

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dc.contributor.author Merzbach, Uta C. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2007-09-27T18:34:33Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-18T17:59:05Z
dc.date.available 2007-09-27T18:34:33Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-18T17:59:05Z
dc.date.issued 1977 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology; 36 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0258 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/2435 en_US
dc.description.abstract The Swedish publisher Georg Scheutz (1785-1873) was a man who combined literary, political, scientific, and technological interests. Inspired by the difference engine of Charles Babbage, he and his son, the engineer Edvard Scheutz (1821-1881), designed and constructed a machine to compute tabular differences and print the results. The machine, built with a grant from the Swedish government and underwritten by a group of Swedish supporters of Scheutz, was completed in 1853. It was patented in Great Britain in 1854, shown at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855, and purchased for the Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, in 1856. A copy of the machine was constructed in 1857. For a short time, in 1858, work contracted by the United States Department of Navy for the Nautical Almanac Office was performed on the machine. Because of the departure (resulting from a major dispute) of the astronomer Benjamin A. Gould and his assistants from the Dudley Observatory, the machine was used rarely in later years and gradually fell into total disuse. The arguments surrounding the construction, purchase, and use of the machine portray two recurring themes in the history of technology. One is the conflict between defenders of established procedures and those of new innovations within a given field. The other is the influence of social, economic, or political currents on the activities in that field. The Scheutz calculator is significant because it made feasible the concept of a machine that computes and then retains results in printed form. en_US
dc.format.extent 30889584 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 4684087 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.title Georg Scheutz and the First Printing Calculator en_US
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113139 en_US
dc.identifier.eISSN 1948-6006 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810258.36.1
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology
rft.issue 36
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 74


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