napier's rods

Napier's bones

noun Mathematics.
a form of multiplication table originally marked on sticks of bone or ivory that could be rearranged to carry out the operations of multiplication or division.
Also called Napier's rods.


Origin:
1650–60; after their developer, J. Napier

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World English Dictionary
Napier's bones
 
pl n
a set of graduated rods formerly used for multiplication and division
 
[C17: based on a method invented by John Napier]

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