Henry Babbage

  • Babbage's Calculating Engines

    A Collection of Papers by Henry Prevost Babbage

    Henry Babbage

    These assembled papers discuss Babbage's Difference Engine, which he invented in 1821 to solve the practical problem of finding a means to reliably compute the many tables needed for navigation, and his Analytical Engine, which anticipated the logical conceptions of modern digital computers.

    Although Charles Babbage's complex calculating machines were unique in their time, there is no full description of them. Instead, Babbage, who preferred to spend his time on design and construction, collected the various contemporary writings on his work and when he died, his son completed the collection. These assembled papers discuss Babbage's Difference Engine, which he invented in 1821 to solve the practical problem of finding a means to reliably compute the many tables needed for navigation, and his Analytical Engine, which anticipated the logical conceptions of modern digital computers. The book includes extensive catalogs of drawings and "notations" for the Analytical Engine and the first published account of Babbage's achievement by the military engineer Menabrea and its translation into English by Babbage's enthusiastic sponsor Ada (Lady) Lovelace the most important paper in the history of digital computing before modern times.: The book includes examples of Babbage's curious Mechanical Notation and several diagrams that were missing from the original edition. It is Volume II in the Charles Babbage reprint series: and was originally published in 1889 by E. and F. N. Spon, London.

    • Hardcover $55.00