The evolution of numbers and mathematical systems can be traced to ancient times when fingers were used to count (first natural decimal system). The evolution spans centuries and began with a mathematical system and then a device or machine to accomplish that system, easier and faster. It included the creation and description of a numbering system; addition; subtraction; multiplication; division; fractions; decimal equivalents; calculus; logarithms; algebra; trigonometry and much more. And as the systems were developed, inventors found ways of accomplishing these tasks with devices or mechanical machines that reduced the time and effort required to obtain a solution and usually with much more accuracy.

This category of machines are representative of the marvelous history and inventions by creative individuals that solved these problems. It began with the abacus and traveled the long path to the computer as we know it today.