Vintage JAPANESE ABACUS Soroban Adding Machine in Box! - (eBay item 310011028013 end time Jan-03-08 20:25:22 PST)
Do you like vintage calculators?
This abacus has thirteen rods with five blond wood beads on one side and two beads on the other. They're framed in a black wooden box that's still in the original pasteboard box. The box is marked, "TFW-608 Japan" and a label on the abacus back is marked, "Four Winds, Japan" with a robed male figure.
This Japanese abacus or counting frame is also called a soroban. Believe it or not this device can be used to do functions other than counting. "Unlike the simple counting board used in elementary schools, very efficient suanpan techniques have been developed to do multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, square root and cube root operations at high speed," says Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abacus
People still use abacuses even with modern day calculators widely available. An article on how to use a Japanese abacus is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soroban
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