


In the old ages, people had to use their fingers to count. But even when they used both hands and both feet, the highest number a person could count to was 20. If they wanted to reach higher numbers, they needed more hands and feet to count! Soon, people began to look for better ways to count. They started counting by writing on cave walls, for example. They began arranging pebbles or sticks on the ground for counting. Eventually, society began trading products for money, which led to our search for even easier ways to calculate! 

The world’s first calculating device, the abacus, was invented in ancient Greece. By moving pebbles called calculi along lines drawn on a table, the ancient Greeks were able to add and subtract. Years later in China, Japan and other parts of Asia, people threaded beads onto sticks and arranged them in a wooden frame to create the abacus we know today. With this abacus, not only could people do addition and subtraction, but if they knew their multiplication tables, they could also do more difficult multiplication and division. 

In Europe, at the beginning of the 17th century, a calculation tool called “Napier's bones” (invented by Scottish mathematician John Napier) was being widely used. These “bones” were long square sticks with numbers written on each side, which enabled people to do multiplication and division. This idea was then used to create the slide rule. The slide rule and abacus were used for a long time in many parts of the world until the invention and popularization of the modern calculator came along. 
As you can see, people have been doing calculations since ancient times. As their quality of life continued to improve, people wanted to find more accurate and convenient calculation methods. 



