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How was trade done earlier?


The Stone Age man was not aware of any trading. They hunted for their own requirements, later they started cultivating fields. When the wild animals became scarce in a particular area or the crop was bad, tribes moved forwards. Eventually, people came across the other groups that cultivated and produced different things--an exchange of goods started. For the exchange of goods, the value of the goods had to be determined. This could not be done without numbers, measures, and weights. Scales and calculating devices such as the Abacus were invented, the trading activity expanded and a real triangular trade arose.


Who invented the numbers?

The first written number system is about 5o0o years old and comes from the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. But man wanted to specify quantities even much earlier: of the animals killed or of mushrooms. In the beginning, man counted using the finger joints on each hand. Even today, young children are taught to count on their fingers. It is known about the Stone Age man that he used tallies by cutting notches in wood, bones, and stones. Similar tally sticks were even used in England till the 19th century.


How does an abacus work?

Abacus is the most ancient tool used for the purpose of calculations. It consists of a frame with rods or wires, on which spheres are beaded. The value of the spheres depends on the rod, on which they are beaded: units, tens, hundreds, and so on. By moving the balls one can do the four simple mathematical operations as well as more difficult calculations. The result can then be read from the position of the balls. Abacus is used even today in some countries of retailers, such as China and Russia.


What is triangular trade?

Triangular trade means trading through a third party. There is no direct exchange between two trading partners. Instead, dealers buy the goods from an overseas market and sell them in the home market to the consumer. They are, therefore, an intermediary between the manufacturer and the consumer and make a living from the profit made by selling the goods. The term triangular trade is often associated with the trading of slaves in the 18th century: Europeans traveled to Africa with goods like weapons, cloth, and salt bought slaves in return, and sold them in America in exchange for cane Sugar products such as rum.


Who invented the scale?

In 5ooo BC, the Egyptians were the first people to build the beam balance and weigh goods. Pans hung from both ends of a balance beam. In one pan the load to be weighed was placed, and in the second pan, the weights were put, until both the pans were perfectly balanced. The earliest and the smallest unit of weight was a grain of wheat and it was used to weigh gold. The steelyard has been used as a weighing device since 20oo BC. It has two arms of different lengths and uses a counterweight that slides along the calibrated longer arm to counterbalance the load on the other arm and indicate its weight.


How were distances measured?

In ancient times, the Egyptians and the Babylonians used their body parts as measurement tools. A very old unit of measurement is the cubit: It is the length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. Smaller lengths were specified by the length of a finger or the span of the palm-this is the stretched hand from the tip of the thumb to that of the little finger. The foot was also used to measure distances-just as the step and the double step. The Romans also used these measures. A Roman mile had a thousand double steps, and each double step measured five Roman feet.


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