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A note on the arithmometer as an aid to actuarial work


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Jacobs, FJ (1891) A note on the arithmometer as an aid to actuarial work. Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 59-60.

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The arithmometer is peculiarly adapted for working out the
chief details of a classified valuation of a life assurance office.
The process is a simple one, being merely a series of multiplications,
and the work can be carried out very rapidly by an
ordinary computer. The results worked out and set down by
one computer can be checked and verified by a second computer
using a different machine, while any errors in the
original work may be investigated by a third worker, using a
third machine. By this means complete accuracy is ensured,
and the use of the different machines avoids any possibility of
error should either of them happen to fall out of order and
become liable to repeat its own mistakes.
It is usual to describe the arithmometer as a
machine which enables a person, however unskilled himself,
to perform the operations of multiplication and division with
facility, rapidity, and unfailing accuracy. This, as a description,
is correct as far as it goes, but as an enumeration of the
properties of the machine it is inadequate and defective. It
entirely omits that property which forms its special adaptation
to our purpose, and in default of which its utility would
be comparatively limited. Besides the facilitation of the
operations named the machine will also in forming the product
of two given numbers either add that product to or subtract
it from another given number according to the pleasure of the

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Jacobs, FJ
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 59-60
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.

Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2013 01:15
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:47
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