I didn't find, in the digital design books, who invented the adders.

The same person invented the half-adder and the full-adder?

What's the oldest publication on digital arithmetic design?

  • $\begingroup$ You could try to find out details about the computers that Charles Babbage designed and check if they contain full adders and half adders. They might not if they were based on decimal numbers. $\endgroup$
    – gnasher729
    Sep 17, 2019 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to ask on History of Science and Mathematics Stackexchange. $\endgroup$
    – Mars
    May 2, 2020 at 2:42

1 Answer 1


In 1966, I was taught by Professor Tom Kilburn at Manchester University.

He said the half adder was sometimes called the Kilburn adder because he invented it!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ At what time did he say it was invented? He might have still been at Grammar School when Zuse actually built one in 1938. $\endgroup$
    – gnasher729
    Apr 30, 2020 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ @gnasher729: Zuse built several types of full adder, but I don't believe any of his early machines had any half adders. $\endgroup$
    – Pseudonym
    May 1, 2020 at 2:59

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