Silliac component


Collections from science: Calculating and Computing

A display of scientific instruments from the Macleay Collections

In the 19th century, two types of mathematical instruments – the slide rule and calculating machine – transformed business, navigation, engineering and scientific calculations. They were used until around the early 1970s, when electronic calculators and computers brought the end of these mechanical devices. The complexity of the modern world and innovations such as space travel was made possible with instruments that could manipulate big data. 

This exhibition showcases the breadth of the Macleay Collections of scientific instruments related to calculating and computing. It is the first in a series of exhibitions dedicated to exploring the collections from science.

Header image: Detail from SILLIAC (Sydney-Illinois Automatic Computer). SC1991.11.1

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