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The Invention of the Equals Sign

The Invention of the Equals Sign | eklectica.in

The ideas of algebra brought on the symbols, not the other way around. Robert Recorde had written the words “is equal to” almost two hundred times in his book Whetstone of Witte (1557) before noticing that he could easily “avoid the tedious repetition” of those three words by designing the symbol = to represent them. The initial incentive was the need to abbreviate, but once the equal symbol was in place, something else took over. The concise character of the symbol came with an unintended benefit: it enabled an unadorned picture in the brain that could facilitate comprehension. Source: The Invention of the Equals Sign | WIRED.
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