Kircher’s Organum Mathematicum

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Yesterday I didn’t remember to show Kircher’s Organum Mathematicum:

Organum Mathematicum was invented in 1661 by the Jesuit astronomer and mathematician Athanasius Kircher. This device is a comprehensive portable encyclopedia and is designed for the following disciplines: arithmetic, geometry, fortifications, chronology, gnomonics (sundials), astronomy, astrology, steganography (encoding) and music. The case contains tables for calculations without ‘tiring the mind’. Each of the nine disciplines contains 24 flat boards of different colours, with definitions and information.

This is Athanasius Kicher:

Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) pictured in the book Mundus Subterraneus (1664) by Cornelius Bloemart (1603-1680). Source: Wikimedia Commons

Of course, in the exhibition you can also find compasses, rules, abacus, slide rules, the Napier bones,…

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

…and calculators from the 20th century:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

LocationNational Technical Museum in Prague (map)

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One response

  1. […] Kircher’s Organum Mathematicum, The Mathematical Tourist, 2014 […]

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