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It's really sumthing.

A PAIR of pioneering calculators invented by a 19th century mathematician will today be seen working for the first time.

Thomas Fowler's wooden machines were rejected by the government of the day and no plans survived.

But after three years of work by historian Pamela Vass the models will now be unveiled at Fowler's birthplace in Torrington, Devon.

The machines, which use a series of rods and levers, were invented in the 1840s. But the government would not give him cash to build them.

Pamela, who used details from Fowler's papers to get the calculators built, said last night: "It was a significant invention because other machines were complex or had a limited capacity.

"He was looking down the same road as early computers. Fowler's role in history has been completely overlooked."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 29, 2000
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