In the mid to late 1800s, Elizur Wright was a giant in the life insurance field. A Yale-educated mathematician, Wright wrote legislation that jump-started the industry in Massachusetts and nationwide, leading to his nickname, “the father of life insurance.”
But once the legislation was in effect, Wright needed a way to do thousands of complex computations in a short amount of time. The device he invented—the arithmeter—gave a huge boost to the actuarial profession. See the device and read more about its history in the full article at The Actuary.