On Display

Mechanical counter, 1888.

6 figure engine counter by Schaeffer and Budenberg of Manchester, 1888. The counter could be used to count revolutions of a piece of mechanism or reciprocating actions.

Wages tables, 1850-1855

Ready reckoner giving the value of discounts of 10%, 15% and 20% on quantities between 15 and 36. This was probably a one-off instrument for use in a particular shop or workshop.

Timetable or rent rule, 1850-1860.

Timetable or rent rule for calculating the number of weeks for storage charges, as used by the dock companies, by Dring and Fage, Tooley Street, London, c. 1850-1860. The rule allows the number of weeks to be read off between two dates up to two yea

Chinese abacus or Suan Pan, 19th century.

Chinese abacus, or suan-pan, 19th century

Bavarian reckoning cloth, German, 16th century.

Replica of a Bavarian counting cloth, 16th century. The original cloth is preserved at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich. Reckoning cloths were used as portable substitutes for counting boards. The letters on the cloth stand for various denomina

Drawing made with a Spirograph, 1975.

A pattern drawn using a Spirograph, a popular graphic toy used to draw combinations of curves.

Set of mathematical instruments, c 1701.

Set of mathematical instruments made by D Lusuerg of Rome, 1701. The range of this set of instruments is unusually extensive, from ordinary dividers to a geometric quadrant. It also includes a circle of degrees with pointers in the shape of grotesq

Cordingley's computometer, adding machine, c 1900.

Cordingley computometer adding machine c.1900. The Cordingley adding machine was one of several simple devices introduced around 1900. It is based on Blaise Pascal's (1623-1662) design of 250 years earlier.

Adolf Sonnenschein's 'Arithmometer', late 19th century.

A. Sonnenschein's improved Arithmometer' made by George Philip and Son of London and Liverpool, late 19th century. This device, which showed units, rods of 10s, and squares of 100s, anticipated many 20th century arithmetical teaching aids. Sonnensche

'La Multi' calculator, c 1920.

La Multi, prototype of French calculating device based on Napier's bones, seven figures, c. 1920. This is a prototype of an instrument which did not prove successful. Napier's bones, a calculating device invented by John Napier in 1617, allowed the u