The very first calculator was the abacus, a sort of hand-operated mechanical calculator using beads on rods, first used by Sumerians and Egyptians around 2000 Be.
But, it was only in the beginning of the 17th century AD, that the first mechanical calculators began to appear in Europe.
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Later, mechanical and electric calculating machines were invented, but they were large, and could not be carried around.
In 1970, the first battery-operated ‘handheld’ calculators were sold. In 1971, Bowmar, USA, introduced their first ‘cigarette pack’ sized calculator.
Thanks to a number of technical developments, these portable computing devices quickly got better and cheaper.
Scores of companies rushed into the pocket calculator.