If we were to understand the modern Abacus, we have to understand the history of Abacus, its journey from a manual calculator to a brain development tool. The word Abacus comes from a Greek word ‘abax’ or ‘abakon’ meaning ‘tabular form’, possibly derived from a Semitic word ‘abq’ or ‘sand’. It is the most primitive form of calculating or counting device. The Abacus origin is not exactly established. It probably was invented somewhere between 300 and 500 BC.
The ancient Abacus calculating devices or the Abacus Calculators have traveled a long way and have transitioned in the process of travel through different countries. The study of the history of Abacus indicates that Suanpan the Chinese abacus had 2/5 decks, but due to its complexity was replaced by Soroban abacus, a Japanese abacus, that was modified by a famous mathematician Seki Kowa. He removed one bead each from upper and lower decks to make it 1/4 decks, i.e., the abacus we use today, the Soroban abacus, this revolutionized Abacus Math as it did help count large numbers.
It gained popularity with the whole World competing on a common platform after Globalization. It had an impact on the education system of different nations. Today no one asks the question, ‘what is an Abacus?’
Although Abacus is a simple counting tool it enhances the overall comprehension of Math and Boosts better and faster calculation skills and improves problem-solving abilities. It would be easy to say abacus training become an essential element of learning Mental Math.