The personality as well as the work or Konrad Zuse reveal the ingenious inventor. At the age of 25, Zuse laid the theoretical foundations for a mechanical calculator that was not only to “free the engineer from the work of mechanical calculation but also allowed for increasing its own capacity enormously”.
In 1936, Zuse explained the necessity of a mechanical calculator by human beings’ innate weakness of instinctively turning towards what is simple and easy leading them to avoid complex issues that shield ‘deeper insights’. Konrad Zuse at first merely intended to free humans from the labours of basic, monotonous calculations. The young inventor may not have been conscious of the fact that his mechanical calculator initiated a development that was to change the whole world profoundly, including our everyday culture.
The item that was first conceived to be a mere aide for a specialised branch of interest suddenly became a revolutionary invention. What elicits surprise is that Zuse at such an early age had found out and accepted the fact that human beings tend to veer towards simple things. And it also seems important to note that his insight did not lead him to call for a seemingly necessary change of behaviour of his fellow men. Rather, Konrad Zuse went to look for a solution via mathematics and natural sciences, as if that were the most natural thing in the world.
In the meantime, Zuse’s enormous scientific achievements have been internationally recognized. In this vein, the Ernst Freiberger Foundation now acknowledges Zuse’s contribution to an invention that is of global significance which took place during times marked by moral decline in Germany.
Including contributions by:
Konrad Zuse – Character and Career
Konrad Zuse’s Mechanical Calculator Z3
The Scientific Oeuvre of Konrad Zuse
Konrad Zuse – The Inventor’s Mechanical Calculator
Konrad Zuse – Calculating Space
Hardcover, 168 pages, Berlin 2005
This book can be obtained in any book store or directly from be.bra Publishing Berlin.