Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

Numbers

Digits

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen

The numbers

Numbers in this digital calendar denote time and date. TM35136. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

The numbers

Mechanical calculators of the Odhner 200 series were among the last mechanical calculators manufactured in Sweden. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

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The numbers

Digits are symbols which represent numbers. They are so obvious that they are often taken for granted. Arithmetic is older than the written language and numbers are one of the pillars of modern high-tech society. Numbers were essential for developing mathematics, science and technology.

The ones we use come from India and the Middle East but are called Arabic.
Among the Ancient Egyptian symbols for numbers a Pharaohs stood for 10,000 and a tadpole 100,000. The symbol for 1,000,000 was a man on bended knee with his arms up in the air.

The Roman number system has seven numbers, I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, and M=1,000. They were popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, but it is very hard to perform complex calculations with them.

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