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I have been turning some of my idle thoughts lately upon an arithmetical machine . . . (it was to multiply and divide figures of any magnitude) . . . I intend to make an attempt to make it; I say an attempt, for though the machine is exceedingly simple, yet I have learnt by experience that in mechanics many things fall out between the cup and the mouth.

James Watt, writing to a friend.  The device was never created.