The discovery of the device was at the Observatoire du Bordeaux, located in Floirac, France, it was found, (hidden away for some 50 years) by the following people in 1993:
- Hugh C. Williams, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Jeffrey Shallit, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
- Francois Morain, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseu, France
What they had found in 1993 was called Machine a Congruences built in 1919. This device would take whole numbers and factor them into their prime factors. This machine was the creation of a french mathematician by the name of Eugene Oliver Carisson, a military officer in his time.
The Brass device works like this, a crank connected to a set of nested horizontal “Congruence Rings”, pegs carefully positioned on the rings would give the solution to a problem when the crank was turned. The answer could then be read by the armature on the top of the rings.
Hugh C. Williams,
Discovery of device
Machine a Congruences
Inventor: Eugene Oliver Carisson
Mathematician, Military Officer
For More Information:
- La machine à congruences de Carissan (1919)
Crtaines machines à calculer furent réalisées pour résoudre un type de calculs particulier (calculs d’intérêts, cubage des arbres, calculs géodésiques, …).
- Discovery of a Lost Factoring Machine
Eugène Olivier Carissan, inventor of the “machine à congruences”.