Loving being drawn into the world of Charles Babbage & Ada Lovelace for my new project, The Difference Engine. Drawn together by a shared passion to imagine what if…, the irascible middle-aged Victorian inventor and the vivacious young Countess seem unlikely friends. But reading letters exchanged by the pair during the 1830-40s their relationship comes alive. Ada, novice mathematician, hungry for knowledge, was intrigued by Babbage’s plans to build a huge calculating engine – a ‘machine that can think’. Babbage came to see Ada as his ‘Enchantress of Numbers’, one of the few people who believed in his dream, with a visionary sense of what it might achieve. Together they realised the possibility of the computer & computer programming. Although Babbage’s engine wasn’t built in his lifetime, it was finally completed to his plans by the Science Museum in 1991. The archive of letters between Babbage and Ada tells the story of the beginnings of the computer as we know it.
Picture from findingada.com, where you can find out more about Ada.