The miraculous powers of modern calculation are due to three inventions: the Arabic Notation, Decimal Fractions, and Logarithms.—FLORIAN CAJORI, A History of Mathematics (1893)
Napier published his invention in 1614 in a Latin treatise entitled Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio (Description of the wonderful canon of logarithms). A later work, Mirifici logarithmorum canonis constructio (Construction of the wonderful canon of logarithms), was published posthumously by his son Robert in 1619. Rarely in the history of science has a new idea been received more enthusiastically. Universal praise was bestowed upon its inventor, and his invention was quickly adopted by scientists all across Europe and even in faraway China. One ...