[SIGCIS-Members] 17th-19th c. exhibitions of computers

David Ferro davidferro at gmail.com
Wed Mar 19 10:13:45 PDT 2008

At the risk of sounding self-serving I've got some pretty
comprehensive notes on automata displays as advertised or written
about in the mid to late 18th century Colonial-American general
periodical.  They are in my dissertation.  If you are interested let
me know directly as I will have to turn on access to the PDF files for

On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 4:19 AM, Brian Randell <Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk> wrote:
> At 20:54 -0400 18/3/08, Bernard Geoghegan wrote:
>  >Hi SIGCIS members,
>  >     I'm doing some research on the 20th century exhibition of
>  >computers, particularly in the form of automata and televised
>  >calculating machines.  I'd like to look for some historical
>  >precedents, though.  Does anyone know of any works discussing the
>  >exhibition of calculating machines from the 17th through the 19th
>  >century?  For example, in the 19th century calculating machines were
>  >sent to at least one World's Fair, and in in the 18th c. von
>  >Kempelen's chess playing Turk inspired popular speculations and
>  >exciting about thinking machines, etc.
>  >     Thanks for your help.
>  >Bernard
>  >
>  >
>  >Bernard Geoghegan
>  >Doctoral Candidate, Program in Screen Cultures, Northwestern University
>  >Institute Visitor, Program in Science, Technology and Society,
>  >Massachusetts Institute of Technology
>  One of the best i know, though slightly out of your time frame, is:
>  Napier Tercentenary Celebration: Handbook of the Exhibition, ed. E.
>  M. Horsburgh, pp. 124-127, Edinburgh, Royal Society of Edinburgh,
>  1914. [(Also published as Modern Instruments and Methods of
>  Calculation: A Handbook of the Napier Tercentenary Celebration
>  Exhibition, G. Bell and Sons, London, 1914.)]
>  Cheers
>  Brian Randell
>  --
>  School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne,
>  NE1 7RU, UK
>  EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 222 7923
>  FAX = +44 191 222 8232  URL = http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/~brian.randell/
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