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The first calculators were abaci, and were often constructed as a wooden frame with beads sliding on wires. Abacuses were used centuries before the adoption of the written Arabic numerals system and are still used by some merchants, fishermen and clerks in China and elsewhere. William Oughtred invents the slide rule in 1622 Blaise Pascal worked on it for three years between 1642 and 1645. This calculator, called the Pascaline, was like a mechanical calculator of the 1940s. In 1822 Charles Babbage proposed a mechanical calculator, called a difference engine