Michael Friendly's

Andr\'e-Michel Guerry's Ordonnateur Statistique: The First Statistical Calculator?

  • Michael Friendly, Nicolas de Saint Agathe.
  • André-Michel Guerry's Ordonnateur Statistique: The First Statistical Calculator?.
  • The American Statistician, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 195–200, 2012.

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A document retrieved from the archives of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris sheds new light on the invention by André-Michel Guerry of a mechanical device for obtaining statistical summaries and for examining the relationship between different variables, well before general purpose statistical calculators and the idea of correlation had even been conceived. Guerry's ordonnateur statistique may arguably be considered the first example of a mechanical device devoted to statistical calculations. This article describes what is now known about this machine and illustrates how Guerry probably used it in his program of statistique analytique to reason about the relationship of types of crimes to various potential causes or associations.

Keywords: A.-M. Guerry; crime mapping; history of criminology; history of statistics; moral statistics; statistical calculators

  author = {Michael Friendly and Nicolas de Saint Agathe},
  title = {Andr\'e-Michel Guerry's Ordonnateur Statistique: The First Statistical
  journal = {The American Statistician},
  year = {2012},
  volume = {66},
  number = {3},
  pages = {195–200},
  url = {http://datavis.ca/papers/ordonnateur/ordonnateur.pdf},
  doi = {10.1080/00031305.2012.714716},
  eprint = {http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00031305.2012.714716},