Wilhelm Schickard

1592 - 1635

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Wilhelm Schickard (22 April 1592 – 24 October 1635) was a German professor of Hebrew and astronomy who became famous in the second part of the 20th century after Franz Hammer, a biographer (along with Max Caspar) of Johannes Kepler, claimed that the drawings of a calculating clock, predating the public release of Pascal's calculator by twenty years, had been discovered in two unknown letters written by Schickard to Johannes Kepler in 1623 and 1624.Hammer asserted that because these letters had been lost for three hundred years, Blaise Pascal had been called and celebrated as the inventor of the mechanical calculator in error during all this time. After careful examination it was found that Schickard's drawings had been published at least once per century starting from 1718, that his machine was not complete and required additional wheels and springs and that it was designed around a single tooth carry mechanism that didn't work properly when used in calculating clocks.Schickard's machine was the first of several designs of direct entry calculating machines in the 17th century (including the designs of Blaise Pascal, Tito Burattini, Samuel Morland and René Grillet). The Schickard machine was particularly notable for its integration of an ingenious system of rotated Napier's rods for multiplication with a first known design for an adding machine, operated by rotating knobs for input, and with a register of rotated numbers showing in windows for output. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Wilhelm Schickard has received more than 159,052 page views. His biography is available in 31 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 28 in 2019). Wilhelm Schickard is the 27th most popular astronomer (up from 30th in 2019), the 395th most popular biography from Germany (up from 417th in 2019) and the 3rd most popular German Astronomer.

Wilhelm Schickard was a German mathematician and inventor. He is most famous for inventing the first mechanical calculator, which he called the Arithmometer.

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Among astronomers, Wilhelm Schickard ranks 27 out of 532Before him are Avempace, Robert Woodrow Wilson, Aryabhata, Roger Joseph Boscovich, Giuseppe Piazzi, and Arthur Eddington. After him are Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers, Mary Somerville, Jamshīd al-Kāshī, Johann Gottfried Galle, Jan Oort, and Johannes Hevelius.

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Among people born in 1592, Wilhelm Schickard ranks 5Before him are John Amos Comenius, Shah Jahan, Hong Taiji, and Pierre Gassendi. After him are Gerard van Honthorst, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Jacques Callot, Gustav Horn, Count of Pori, Catalina de Erauso, Peter Snayers, and François le Métel de Boisrobert. Among people deceased in 1635, Wilhelm Schickard ranks 2Before him is Lope de Vega. After him are Samuel de Champlain, Jacques Callot, Zacharias Janssen, Reza Abbasi, Joos de Momper, Fakhr al-Din II, Friedrich Spee, Elisabeth of Lorraine, Luke Foxe, and Alessandro Tassoni.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Wilhelm Schickard ranks 395 out of 5,289Before him are Henri Nestlé (1814), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945), Karl Drais (1785), Max Bruch (1838), Johann Georg Faust (1480), and Christopher of Bavaria (1416). After him are Robert Bunsen (1811), Lothar Matthäus (1961), Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers (1758), Carol I of Romania (1839), Friedrich Ratzel (1844), and Chlodio (393).

Among ASTRONOMERS In Germany

Among astronomers born in Germany, Wilhelm Schickard ranks 3Before him are Johannes Kepler (1571) and William Herschel (1738). After him are Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers (1758), Johann Gottfried Galle (1812), Johann Bayer (1572), Caroline Herschel (1750), Simon Marius (1573), Max Wolf (1863), Heinrich Louis d'Arrest (1822), Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793), and Johann Franz Encke (1791).