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The calculator turns 130 today

The+comptometer%2C+which+was+invented+by+Dorr+Eugene+Felt%2C+is+the+precursor+to+the+modern-day+calculator.
The comptometer, which was invented by Dorr Eugene Felt, is the precursor to the modern-day calculator.

The comptometer, which was invented by Dorr Eugene Felt, is the precursor to the modern-day calculator.

IMAGE / Wikimedia Commons

IMAGE / Wikimedia Commons

The comptometer, which was invented by Dorr Eugene Felt, is the precursor to the modern-day calculator.

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There is a tool that was patented 130 years ago on this date that makes math quicker and easier — the comptometer.

Dorr Eugene Felt received the patent for the first adding machine known to be absolutely accurate at all times on Oct. 11, 1887.

Of course, the comptometer has changed greatly since then, becoming an adding machine and then a calculator.

For some, the modern calculator is an essential tool for doing their math homework, while others think it is just a crutch that is unnecessary and teaches people to be dependent on a device.

Mr. Chris Torok, math teacher, does not like calculators.

“Many students struggle with basic computations involving integers and fractions because we rely on the calculator too much,”  Torok said.

IMAGE / Wikimedia Commons
Dorr Eugene Felt is an inventor who received a patent for the comptometer on Oct. 11, 1887.

Another math teacher, Mrs. Kim Loyer, thinks calculators are useful tools but that people rely on them too much for easy problems.

“It’s a great shortcut when doing complicated math problems with large numbers,” Loyer said. “Some people rely on them too much and now struggle with doing simple math in their heads.”

For math teachers, there is a common thinking pattern. They would rather students try problems without a calculator first and then use a calculator to check their answers.

Of course, some students don’t see it that way.

Senior Michael Taber said he thinks students should be able to use them.

Taber said believes this because, “not all students can do every problem in their head.”

This is a good point, but Torok would say this is because people rely on calculators too much and that is why they can’t do the simple math without a calculator.

Whether or not calculators should be used or if they’re relied on too much, the calculator is a great tool for easy math computations.

 

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The student news site of Kearsley High School in Flint, Michigan
The calculator turns 130 today