George Bidder, the Mental Calculator

Made:
1817 in Abingdon
maker:
William Watkin Waite
and
William Watkin Waite
and
engraver:
Henry Hoppner Meyer
print. Portrait of George [Parker] Bidder (1806-78) the mental Calculator. Overall size 12"x17" high. Engraved by H. Portrait of George [Parker] Bidder (1806-78), 'George Bidder, the Mental Calculator' /engraved by H. Meyer after W.

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print. Portrait of George [Parker] Bidder (1806-78) the mental Calculator. Overall size 12"x17" high. Engraved by H.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait of George [Parker] Bidder (1806-78), 'George Bidder, the Mental Calculator' /engraved by H. Meyer after W.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

print. engraving, stipple and aquatint, Portrait of George [Parker] Bidder (1806-78), 'George Bidder, the Mental Calculator' /engraved by H. Meyer after W. Waite, published as the Act directs, by W. Waite, Abingdon. August 20th 1817. Portrait, FL in meadow, holding hat and whip; aged 11 years

We are fortunate enough to have some material associated with George Parker Bidder, one of the best-known calculating prodigies of the 19th century. By the age of nine, Bidder was making money by performing calculations locally, so his father began to exhibit him at fairs, and then in major towns such as Bristol, Oxford and Birmingham. He was not educated, but worked out for himself how to perform complicated compound interest problems. The year this portrait was taken he answered questions from Queen Anne.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1943-128
Materials:
aquatint and paper
Measurements:
image: 400 mm x 280 mm x 20 mm,
frame: 550 mm x 432 mm x 20 mm,
type:
print
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Phillimore Collection