Gearwheel cut-outs for Babbage's Difference Engine No 1, 1824-1832.

Exton, David

Gearwheel cut-outs for Babbage's Difference Engine No 1, 1824-1832.
3 3 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm

Description

Cardboard gearwheel cut-outs, labelled and dated, for Babbage's Difference Engine No 1. The British computing pioneer Charles Babbage (1791-1871) first conceived the idea of an advanced calculating machine to calculate and print mathematical tables in 1812. This, he believed, would eliminate the inaccuracy that occurred when compiling mathematical tables by hand. His first attempt was the Difference Engine. Babbage used cardboard cut-outs while he was developing his designs. This engine was under construction from 1824 until 1832, when the project was abandoned after a disagreement with his engineer Joseph Clement.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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