Babbage’s Dream

There’s something quite beautiful about this – the mechanism devised by Victorian inventor Charles Babbage for his envisioned calculating machine. Babbage’s dream began with his plans for the Difference Engine, then progressed to the Analytical Engine – the ‘machine that can think’. This is a section of the Analytical Engine mill, an experimental model still under construction at the time of Babbage’s death and now part of the Science Museum’s collection. Like all good science, this has an elegance that makes it also a work of art.

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Photo: Marcin Wichary, The Computer History Museum

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