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Napier's Bones, c 1690.

Napier's Bones, c 1690.
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 22cm


John Napier (1550-1617), discoverer of logarithms, also created this popular calculating tool known as Napier's cylindrical 'rods' or 'bones'. Napier's rods reduced multiplication to a sequence of simple additions and could also be used for division and to calculate square roots.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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