Origin of RPN


I found an article on the web and thought someone might be interested in it. Here's some excerpts:

Charles Leonard Hamblin (1922-1985)was an Australian philosopher and computer scientist. His main early contributions to computing, which date from the mid 1950s, were the development of Reverse Polish Notation. RPN, also known as postfix notation, is an arithmetic formula notation, derived from the polish notation introduced in 1920 by the Polish mathematician Jan Lukasiewicz.

RPN was invented by Australian philosopher and computer scientist Charles Hamblin in the mid-1950s, to enable zero-address memory stores. Since his death, his ideas have become influential in the design of computer interaction protocols, and are expected to shape the next generation of e-commerce.

The complete article can be found at http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Charles%20Hamblin


Hi, D.B.

This is somethign I like knowing about. A I mentioned many times here, I consider myself as an "information" collector. I like adding as much information as possible to my brain "data bank".

Thanks a lot.

Luiz (Brazl)


FWIW, I had a Comp Sci instructor who chided us to learn how to
pronounce "Lukasiewicz", so we wouldn't have to use the
'politically incorrect' term "RPN"


For those readers with access to a research library, Hamblin's RPN is described in the following article:

C. L. Hamblin [1957]: "Computer Languages." The Australian Journal of Science, 20: 135-139.



There's also a very good paper written by John Kennedy titled "RPN Perspective". It's a reprint of an article published in the PPC Calculator Journal, Volume 9
Number 5, August 1982, pp26-29. PDF can be found at



Thank you all for sharing these information which I otherwise surely have missed.

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