John Napier of Merchiston (1550-1617) was an inventor and mathematician.

His most important contribution was in the field of mathematics. Napier produced the present notation of decimal fractions and explained the construction of logarithms and their use. He also invented 'Napier's Bones', a very simple form of calculating machine which could carry out multiplication and division.

Provenance

By descent in the Tweeddale family; Peter Morris.


Scottish National Portrait Gallery

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 1JD
0131 624 6200
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Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm. (6pm during August). Open from noon on 1 Jan. Closed 25 – 26 Dec.



Exhibitions at Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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