Trial model and spare wheels for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine

Made:
c. 1870 in England
maker:
Charles Babbage

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Trial model and spare wheels for Analytical Engine, mounted on wooden base, by Charles Babbage, England, c. 1870

In 1843 celebrated polymath Charles Babbage began work on an ambitious new calculating machines called the Analytical Engine. Only trial pieces remain, but if completed it would likely have been the size of a large room, and would have used steam power to conduct its calculations by mvoing a complex set of cogs, leavers and punched cards. Babbage wanted it to be capable of addition, substraction, multiplication and division, its design containing much of the architecture that we would recognise in a modern-day computer.

Details

Category:
Computing & Data Processing
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), metal (unknown), steel (metal) and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (est.): 540 mm x 610 mm x 410 mm,
Identifier:
1905-181 Pt52
type:
components
credit:
Babbage, Major-General H.P.