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The Number Concept

Its Origin and Development

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Published: 1896
Language: English
Wordcount: 47,024 / 170 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 55
LoC Category: Q
Downloads: 1,321
Added to site: 2005.08.06
mnybks.net#: 11290
Genres: Non-fiction, Science
Excerpt

ter clear to Cely's comprehension, he had to proceed upon a system of her own devising. A small notch was cut in a smooth white stick for every dime she owed, and a large notch when the dimes amounted to a dollar; for every five dollars a string was tied in the fifth big notch, Cely keeping tally by the knots in her bit of twine; thus, when two strings were tied about the stick, the ten dollars were seen to be an indisputable fact." This interesting method of computing the amount of her debt, whether an invention of her own or a survival of the African life of her parents, served the old negro woman's purpose perfectly; and it illustrates, as well as a score of examples could, the methods of numeration to which the children of barbarism resort when any number is to be expressed which exceeds the number of counters with which nature has provided them. The fingers are, however, often employed in counting numbers far above the first decade. After giving the Il-Oigob numerals up to 60, Müller adds:[8] "Above 60 a

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