• Brian Rice
  • Enrique González-Velasco
  • Alexander Corrigan


TO perform calculations (Noble Sir) is a difficult and lengthy process, the tedium of which deters many from the study of Mathematics. I have always tried, with such strength and talent as I possess, to expedite the process. It was with this end in view that I produced in former years my canon of Logarithms, at which I had laboured over a long period. In this I abandoned natural numbers and the more difficult operations which are carried out by means of them and substituted others which achieve the same result by simple addition, subtraction, and division by two or three. I have now discovered a greatly superior species of Logarithms1 and have decided (if God will grant me life and health for a little longer) to publish the method of creating them and also their use, but because of the poor state of my bodily health I have left the actual computation of the new canon to men versed in this type of pursuit and principally to my dear and learned friend D. Henry Briggs, public professor of geometry at London.2 In the meantime, however, for the benefit of those who prefer to operate with the natural numbers as they are, I have worked out three other short methods of calculation. The first of these, which I call Rabdology, uses rods with numbers on them. The second, which for multiplication is the fastest of all, uses strips arranged on a box; for this the name promptuary for Multiplication will not be inappropriate. The third and last uses location Arithmetic and is performed on a chess-board.


Vertical Strip Cube Root Horizontal Strip Single Counter Local Notation 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Rice
    • 1
  • Enrique González-Velasco
    • 2
  • Alexander Corrigan
    • 3
  1. 1.HorshamUK
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts at LowellLowellUSA
  3. 3.School of Divinity, The University of Edinburgh, New College, Mound PlaceEdinburghUK

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