



History 



Abacus (Suen Poon) 

Abacus (Suen Poon) consists of a wooden frame with 13 sticks (some may have less) stretched vertically between the top and bottom, a wooden bar runs horizontally in the frame, two third of the way up the sticks. Two beads are strung on each stick above the horizontal bar and five beads below. The two beads represent five units each and the lower beads, single units of the order represented by the column. 

Use of the Abacus 

The Abacus (Suen Poon) is still in use and its distinctive noise can be heard in many small businesses and restaurants in Hong Kong and China. 

Experts use it to make long and complicated calculations faster than the same calculations made by using an electronic calculator. Indeed, competitions are regularly held in Hong Kong to determine which method is faster and the Abacus (Suen Poon) users inevitably win. 


Upper Portion (UP): Two beads  represent FIVE each. Lower Portion (LP): Five beads  represent ONE each. 

1) The first stick = 1 2) The second stick = 2 3) The third stick = 3 4) The fourth stick = 4 5) The fifth stick = 5 6) The sixth stick = 6.........and so on 
(1) Fingers to Use 

Use the THUMB and the FOREFINGER. Basic operation === apply to both Upper Portion (UP) and Lower Portion (LP) === Push Upward  use Thumb === Push Downward  use Forefinger 

(2) Action to Take 

"Push to" (Pt) or "Away from" (Af) the horizontal bar (B). 

(3) Set up Position 

Upper Portion (UP) and Lower Portion (LP), all beads "Away from" (Af) the horizontal bar (B). 

(4) Direction to work from 

From Left to Right for addition and subtraction. (see examples below) 

(5) Units Arrangement 

(Seventysix thousand five hundred and twentyone) 

C1  Unit  C4  Thousand  
C2  Ten units  C5  Ten thousand  
C3  Hundred  C6  Hundred thousand  
and so on..................... 
(6) Five units and Ten units 

(A) Five units 

(5 beads in LP = 1 bead in UP) 

(1)  5 green beads Af LP  use forefinger 



(2)  1 green bead Pt UP  use forefinger 



(B) Ten units 

(2 beads in UP = 10, 1 beads in LP in next column also = 10) 

(1)  C1: 2 green beads Af UP  use thumb 



(2)  C2: 1 red bead Pt LP  use thumb 



(C) Ten units  
(2 beads in UP = 10 or 1 bead in Up and 5 beads in LP = 10) 

(1)  15 brown beads 



(2)  === C1: 1 bead Af UP  use thumb, 5 bead Af LP  use forefinger 

(3)  === C2: 1 bead, Pt LP  use thumb 




