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The earliest counting device was probably a form of tally stick.Later record keeping aids throughout the Fertile Crescent included calculi (clay spheres, cones, etc.) which represented counts of items, probably livestock or grains, sealed in hollow unbaked clay containers.It was designed to calculate astronomical positions.It was discovered in 1901 in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, and has been dated to circa 100 BC.The planisphere was a star chart invented by Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī in the early 11th century.The astrolabe was invented in the Hellenistic world in either the 1st or 2nd centuries BC and is often attributed to Hipparchus.According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of the word "computer" was in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait: "I haue [sic] read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer [sic] breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number." This usage of the term referred to a person who carried out calculations or computations.

It is a hand-operated analog computer for doing multiplication and division.

Devices of a level of complexity comparable to that of the Antikythera mechanism would not reappear until a thousand years later.

Many mechanical aids to calculation and measurement were constructed for astronomical and navigation use.

Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms.

More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calculations in the early 20th century.

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