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eBook available: How to Become a Lightning Calculator

Our latest project to pass through Distributed Proofreaders into Project Gutenberg is How to Become a Lightning Calculator, part of a series of tiny chapbooks — around the size of playing cards — which were marketed as the “Smallest Magazine in the World:” the Multum in Parvo Library.

This particular issue, as the title suggests, is a collection of tips and tricks for performing mathematical operations more quickly, with the first half mostly concerned with basic arithmetic and the second half focused on financial matters, particularly interest calculations. Because of the text’s brevity and age, these tips may not be especially helpful to modern readers, but they serve as an interesting document of how math was presented to the general readership in the late 19th century.

If you want to dive deeper, you can read the entire book online, or download it in popular eBook formats, through Project Gutenberg.


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Last Modified: April 14, 2021