The Pascaline

Pascaline (1652). Musée des arts et métiers (París).

When Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) was only 17 y.o., his father Etienne Pascal (another great mathematician) was appointed chief of the taxmen in Normandy, France. What did this clever teenager think when saw his poor father calculating everytime? Well, as good son as he was, he decided to give him the best present which Etienne could receive: a calculating machine (1652) which was recalled with the name Pascaline a lot of years later. This analogic machine was only able to add numbers but Etienne’s work became easier than before. Pascal introduced several improvements to his invention and the Pascaline was patented. Unfortunately, the manufacturing of the machine was too expenseive and Pascal’s small business could only make fifty calculators and one of them still survives in the Musée des arts et métiers in Paris.

In addition , we also report the visit to see some of the instruments that Pascal used to study the atmospheric pressure.

Location: Musée des arts et métiers in Paris (map)

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