Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage
Portrait of Charles Babbage (c. 1820)
Babbage c. 1850
A portion of the difference engine
Letter to Sir Humphry Davy, 1822
On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, 1835
Babbage's notation for machine parts, explanation from On a method of expressing by signs the action of machinery (1827) of his "Mechanical Notation", invented for his own use in understanding the work on the difference engine, and an influence on the conception of the analytical engine
Plate from the Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, showing a parametric family of algebraic curves acquiring isolated real points
The Illustrated London News (4 November 1871).
Part of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine (#1), assembled after his death by his son, Henry Prevost Babbage (1824–1918), using parts found in Charles' laboratory. Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge, England.
The Science Museum's Difference Engine No. 2, built from Babbage's design
Portion of Babbage's difference engine.
Portion of the mill with a printing mechanism of the Analytical Engine, built by Charles Babbage, as displayed at the Science Museum (London)
Part of the Analytical Engine on display, in 1843, left of centre in this engraving of the King George III Museum in King's College, London.
Babbage's grave at Kensal Green Cemetery, London, photographed in 2014
Charles Babbage's brain is on display at The Science Museum
Green plaque in London
Account of the repetition of M. Arago's experiments on the magnetism manifested by various substances during the act of rotation, 1825

English polymath.

- Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage

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This portrait of Jacquard was woven in silk on a Jacquard loom and required 24,000 punched cards to create (1839). It was only produced to order. Charles Babbage owned one of these portraits; it inspired him in using perforated cards in his Analytical Engine. It is in the collection of the Science Museum in London, England.

Jacquard machine

Device fitted to a loom that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with such complex patterns as brocade, damask and matelassé.

Device fitted to a loom that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with such complex patterns as brocade, damask and matelassé.

This portrait of Jacquard was woven in silk on a Jacquard loom and required 24,000 punched cards to create (1839). It was only produced to order. Charles Babbage owned one of these portraits; it inspired him in using perforated cards in his Analytical Engine. It is in the collection of the Science Museum in London, England.
A Jacquard loom showing information punchcards, National Museum of Scotland
Jacquard diagram. The numbered components are as described in the text.
19th century Engineering drawing of a Jacquard loom.
Close-up view of the 8 × 26 hole punched cards—one card per pick (weft) in the fabric
A punch for Jacquard cards
Austrian Jacquard handloom, end of 19th century, National Museum of textile Industry, Sliven, Bulgaria
Close-up view of comber board, harness, mails, weights (Lingoes) and warp with 1040 ends
Punched cards in use in a Jacquard loom. German Museum of Technology, Berlin
Weaving shuttle on a jacquard sample
Punched card loom mechanism in silk-weaving workshop; Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Weaver in a silk-weaving workshop; Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Jacquard looms in the Textile Department of the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland.
Weaving on a jacquard loom with a flying shuttle at the Textile Department of the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland.
Following the pattern, holes are punched in the appropriate places on a jacquard card at the Department of Textile Art at Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland.
Detail of Dove and Rose jacquard-woven silk and wool double cloth furnishing textile, designed by William Morris
Punched paper tape used to instruct the 1944 Harvard Mark I computer
Detail of Jaquard loom at TextielMuseum Tilburg
Four Hattersley looms with the distinctive Jacquard head
Carpet loom with Jacquard apparatus by Carl Engel, around 1860.

This use of replaceable punched cards to control a sequence of operations is considered an important step in the history of computing hardware, having inspired Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.

The Science Museum

Science Museum, London

Major museum on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London.

Major museum on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London.

The Science Museum
Making the Modern World gallery from above
The Energy Hall
The Apollo 10 Command Module Charlie Brown, which orbited the Moon 31 times in 1969, is displayed in the Modern World Gallery
Information Age Gallery at the Science Museum London
Replica of the DNA model built by Crick and Watson in 1953.
Old Bess, A surviving example of a steam engine made by James Watt, in 1777.
4073 Caerphilly Castle in the Land Transport gallery

In the landing area to access the gallery (stair C) is a working example of Charles Babbage's Difference engine No.2.

Old Court, facing the Chapel

Peterhouse, Cambridge

Oldest constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England, founded in 1284 by Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely.

Oldest constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England, founded in 1284 by Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely.

Old Court, facing the Chapel
Church of St Mary the Less
Peterhouse, view from Coe Fen
St Peter's College, view from Trumpington Street, 1815
The Chapel cloisters, through which Old Court can be seen
Peterhouse's Dining Hall
Interior of the Chapel
I and H staircases, Gisborne Court, Peterhouse
Whittle Building in Gisborne Court, Peterhouse.
Exterior of the Hall, leading to the Deer Park.
Peterhouse Deerpark in Spring
William Stone Building, Scholars' Garden
John Whitgift
The Duke of Grafton
Thomas Gray
Edward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough
Charles Babbage
Henry Cavendish
Sir James Dewar
Lord Kelvin
James Clerk Maxwell
Syed Mohammad Hadi
Sir Frank Whittle
Niall Ferguson
Michael Portillo
Colin Greenwood
James Mason
Roger Scruton
alt=Sam Mendes|Sam Mendes                        Film and stage director, producer and screenwriter
David Mitchell
Chapel and main entrance
Part of St Peter's College, view from the private gardens, 1815
St Peter's College, Chapel, 1815
Peterhouse May Boat Crew, 1896

Peterhouse alumni are notably eminent within the natural sciences, including scientists Lord Kelvin, Henry Cavendish, Charles Babbage, James Clerk Maxwell, James Dewar, Frank Whittle, and five Nobel prize winners in science: Sir John Kendrew, Sir Aaron Klug, Archer Martin, Max Perutz, and Michael Levitt.

Trinity College Great Court

Trinity College scarf

Trinity College, Cambridge

Constituent college of the University of Cambridge.

Constituent college of the University of Cambridge.

Trinity College Great Court

Trinity College scarf
1575 map showing the King's Hall (top left) and Michaelhouse (top right) buildings before Thomas Nevile's reconstruction.
David Loggan's print of 1690 showing Nevile's Great Court (foreground) and Nevile's Court with the then-new Wren Library (background) – New Court had yet to be built
Trinity established Cambridge Science Park, UK's first science park, in 1970
Remembrance Service at the Great Court in 2018
A historical plan of the development of Trinity College by 1897.
The Wren Library at Nevile's Court
Wren Library interior, showing the limewood carvings by Grinling Gibbons
Whewell's Court north range
Inside Trinity College Chapel
Trinity Bridge
The statue of Sir Isaac Newton in the chapel, where scholars are typically installed
Great Court, with (from left to right) the dining hall, Master's Lodge, fountain, clock tower, chapel and Great Gate
The statue of the college's founder Henry VIII presiding over the Great Gate, with a chair leg in his right hand
The High Table is at the far end of the dining hall under the portrait of Henry VIII
Newton's own copy of the Principia Mathematica, with handwritten corrections, on display in the Wren Library
Prince Charles
Amartya Sen
Bertrand Russell
Lord Melbourne whose name gave rise to the Australian city, Melbourne served as Prime Minister in 1834–1841
Martin Rees was Master of Trinity from 2004 to 2012
Dame Sally Davies, current Master of Trinity
Great Gate
Clock Tower
Fellows' Bowling Green, with the oldest building in the college (originally part of King's Hall) in the background
Old Kitchen set up for a formal dinner
New Court after 2016 refurbishment
The River Cam as it flows past the back of Trinity, Trinity Bridge is visible and the punt house is to the right of the moored punts
The Avenue of lime and cherry trees, and wrought iron gate to Queen's Road viewed from the Backs
Sundial and shelter at the Fellows' Garden
1995 development of Burrell's Field
Blue Boar Court, with the Wolfson Building in the background.

Trinity alumni include the father of the scientific method (or empiricism) Francis Bacon, six British prime ministers (the highest number of any Cambridge college), physicists Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr, mathematicians Srinivasa Ramanujan and Charles Babbage, poets Lord Byron and Lord Tennyson, English jurist Edward Coke, writers Vladimir Nabokov and A. A. Milne, historians Lord Macaulay and G. M. Trevelyan and philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell (whom it expelled before reaccepting).

Drawing of John Herschel, published in 1846

John Herschel

English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical work.

English polymath active as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical work.

Drawing of John Herschel, published in 1846
A Calotype of a model of the lunar crater Copernicus, 1842
Disa cornuta (L.) Sw. by Margaret & John Herschel
Herschel's first glass-plate photograph, dated 9 September 1839, showing the mount of his father's 40-foot telescope
Portrait of John Herschel
1867 photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron
Margaret Brodie Stewart by Alfred Edward Chalon 1829
John Frederick William Herschel by Alfred Edward Chalon 1829
The adjoining tombs of John Herschel and Charles Darwin in Westminster Abbey.
Description of a machine for resolving by inspection certain important forms of transcendental equations, 1832

It was during his time as an undergraduate that he became friends with the mathematicians Charles Babbage and George Peacock.

Daguerreotype by Antoine Claudet (c. undefined 1843). One of only two known photographs.

Ada Lovelace

Daguerreotype by Antoine Claudet (c. undefined 1843). One of only two known photographs.
Ada Byron, aged four
Ada Byron, aged seven, by Alfred d'Orsay, 1822, Somerville College, Oxford.
Ada Byron, aged seventeen, 1832
Watercolour portrait of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, circa 1840, possibly by Alfred Edward Chalon
Painting of Lovelace seated at a piano, by Henry Phillips (1852). Although in great pain at the time, she agreed to sit for the painting as her father, Lord Byron, had been painted by Phillips' father, Thomas Phillips.
Portrait of Ada by British painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1836)
Lovelace's diagram from "note G", the first published computer algorithm
An illustration inspired by the A. E. Chalon portrait created for the Ada Initiative, which supported open technology and women
Blue plaque to Ada Lovelace in St. James's Square, London

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.

Portion of the calculating machine with a printing mechanism of the Analytical Engine, built by Charles Babbage, as displayed at the Science Museum (London)

Analytical Engine

Portion of the calculating machine with a printing mechanism of the Analytical Engine, built by Charles Babbage, as displayed at the Science Museum (London)
Two types of punched cards used to program the machine. Foreground: 'operational cards', for inputting instructions; background: 'variable cards', for inputting data
Henry Babbage's Analytical Engine Mill, built in 1910, in the Science Museum (London)
Plan diagram of the Analytical Engine from 1840

The Analytical Engine was a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer designed by English mathematician and computer pioneer Charles Babbage.

The London Science Museum's difference engine, the first one actually built from Babbage's design. The design has the same precision on all columns, but in calculating polynomials, the precision on the higher-order columns could be lower.

Difference engine

Automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions.

Automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions.

The London Science Museum's difference engine, the first one actually built from Babbage's design. The design has the same precision on all columns, but in calculating polynomials, the precision on the higher-order columns could be lower.
Closeup of the London Science Museum's difference engine showing some of the number wheels and the sector gears between columns. The sector gears on the left show the double-high teeth very clearly. The sector gears on the middle-right are facing the back side of the engine, but the single-high teeth are clearly visible. Notice how the wheels are mirrored, with counting up from left-to-right, or counting down from left-to-right. Also notice the metal tab between "6" and "7". That tab trips the carry lever in the back when "9" passes to "0" in the front during the add steps (Step 1 and Step 3).
Fully operational difference engine at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California

It was designed in the 1820s, and was first created by Charles Babbage.

A215 road

A road in south London, starting at Elephant and Castle and finishing around Shirley.

A road in south London, starting at Elephant and Castle and finishing around Shirley.

Walworth Road on a Saturday afternoon
The Camberwell Palace of Varieties
The station entrance to Norwood Junction of Portland Road.
Jolly-sailor station in 1845, showing the bridge carrying Portland Road in the background and the atmospheric propulsion system pumping station, with its Gothic chimney/exhaust vent, in the foreground.

Charles Babbage, the Victorian mathematician and computer pioneer, was probably born at 44 Crosby Row, now Larcom Street, Walworth Road on 26 December 1791.

Hamann Manus R

Mechanical computer

Computer built from mechanical components such as levers and gears rather than electronic components.

Computer built from mechanical components such as levers and gears rather than electronic components.

Hamann Manus R
Curta Calculator
Harwell Dekatron

Difference Engine, 1822 – Charles Babbage's mechanical device to calculate polynomials.