The Greatest Machine That Never Was

The computer was invented in the 30s: not the 1930s, but the 1830s. British mathematician Charles Babbage designed and prototyped a fully functional mechanical computer he called the Analytical Engine, but it was never completed. Now a team in Britain plans to build the machine for display at London’s Science Museum before the 2030s come around.

Building Babbage’s Analytical Engine

Computer Experts Building 1830s Babbage Analytical Engine:

A fascinating project to construct the Analytical Engine, a “room-size mechanical behemoth” that Charles Babbage (1791-1871) envisioned, and partly designed, but never built. See the Interactive Feature “Before-Its-Time Machine”. The project team, led by John Graham-Cumming, a programmer, and Doron Swade, a former curator at the Science Museum in London, have digitized Babbage’s surviving blueprints but are relying on crowd-sourcing to determine exactly what should be built. Plans will be posted online next year, and the public will be invited to offer suggestions. Sounds like fun!


Welcome to my blog. I will use this space to post links to items I find of interest and occasionally offer my own comments on trends in Digital Humanities. Please feel free to comment and repost. Enjoy!