Escutcheons of Science
 Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635)

Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635)
Inventor of the Mechanical Calculator (1623)

[ The above copyrighted picture is reproduced here by permission:   © 2007 Jochen Wilke. ]

Gules, a lion Or holding in its forepaws an arrow Argent.
Crest: On a wreath of the colors, a demi-lion issuant as in the arms.
Mantling: Gules and Or.

 Wilhelm Schickard
Rechenuhr
 Blaise Pascal 
 1623-1662  Wilhelm Schickard 
 1592-1635  Johannes Kepler 
 1571-1630

Wilhelm Shickard (1592-1635) built a prototype of his so-called  Rechenuhr  calculator for Kepler in 1623  (the year Pascal was born).

Schickard's original  Rechenuhr  was apparently destroyed in 1624 and the machine was all but forgotten for more than 300 years,  until a working replica was built in 1957 by Baron  Bruno von Freytag-Löringhoff, at the University of Tübingen  (where Schickard once taught Hebrew and Aramaic before being appointed professor of astronomy in 1631).  A simulated Rechenuhr  was made available online in 1999 by  Benjamin Nill, also at the University of Tübingen.

The  Pascaline  devised by Blaise Pascal in 1642 has often been erroneously quoted as the first calculator.  The celebrated  Pascaline  was indeed the first "mass produced" calculator (about 50 copies were made, one of which was presented to Chancellor Pierre Séguier in 1645).  However, the priority of Schickard's  Rechenuhr  prototype is now fully recognized.


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