History of Computer | Evolution of Computer

History of Computer

History of computer could be traced back to the effort of man to count large numbers. Earliest calculating devices are not like the modern calculating devices in compact form, high processing speed, and reduced cost, easily portable and so on. 

There were a lot of devices invented for the development of modern digital computer. This gradual study from early to present device regarding the development of computer is termed as history of computer. Following are different phases of development of modern digital computer



The first calculating device called ABACUS was developed by the Egyptian and Chinese people. The word ABACUS means calculating board. It consisted of sticks in horizontal positions on which were inserted sets of pebbles. They were invented in 3000BC.

Napier’s Bones

Napier’s bones

English mathematician John Napier built a mechanical device for the purpose of multiplication in 1617 A D. The device was known as Napier’s bones. This device was used for multiplying, dividing, and taking square roots and cube roots where multiplication tables written on strips of wood and bones.

Slide Rule

slide rule

Mathematician William Oughtred developed the slide rule in 1622. This machine could perform operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This machine was also used for scientific calculations like logarithmic functions and trigonometric functions. The slide rule is also known as a mechanical analog computer.

Pascal Calculator

Pascal Calulator

Pascal’s calculator was invented by Blaise Pascal in 1642. He developed a machine at the age of 19 that could add and subtract.

Leibniz’s Multiplication and Dividing Machine

The German philosopher and mathematician Wihlem Von Leibniz built in1673 a mechanical device that could both multiply and divide and extracts roots. This is the improved version of Pascal’s Calculator.

Difference Engine

Charles Babbage, Father of Computer invented, difference engine in 1821. The engines are performing complex mathematical calculation with 31 digits of precision by using rods, gears, levers and linkage. The engine was used to solve polynomial equations.

Babbage’s Analytical Engine

It was in the year 1837 that a famous English man Charles Babbage built a general-purpose calculating machine called analytical engine.

Harvard Mark I

This machine was invented by Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper in 1944. The computer controlled by punched, paper tape could carry out addition, subtraction, multiplication and reference previous result.


It was invented in 1949 by Maurice Wilkes. Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator, the first stored-program computer.


This machine was invented by Eckert and Mauchly in 1949. Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer was one of the earliest stored program computers


It was invented in 1951 by J. Presper, Eckert and Mauchly. Universal Automatic Computer was the first commercial computer produced in the United States.


Laptop was invented by William Moggridge in 1979.

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