[SIGCIS-Members] Ideas Embodied in Metal: Babbage’s Engines Dismembered and Remembered

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Fri Jul 10 14:47:55 PDT 2020


I’ve just come across and read a fascinating and though-provoking account that adds significantly to the Babbage canon.

Ideas Embodied in Metal: Babbage’s Engines Dismembered and Remembered

Chap 6 of The Whipple Museum of the History of Science (Cambridge University Press, August 2019) pp 119-158.

Simon Schaffer

This chapter seeks to extend previous studies of Charles Babbage’s celebrated difference engine through an examination of a rare surviving fragment in the Whipple Museum’s collection. Constructed from scrap parts inherited by Charles’s son, Henry, in order to relaunch the engine project, the fragment has much to reveal about the afterlife of Babbage’s most famous failure. An appendix to the chapter also publishes for the first time key documents relating to Henry Babbage’s project.

Full text: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/whipple-museum-of-the-history-of-science/ideas-embodied-in-metal-babbages-engines-dismembered-and-remembered/F1CFD1014E5C02B61C0CE57E2D350CBF/core-reader


Brian Randell


School of Computing, Newcastle University, 1 Science Square, 
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
URL = http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/people/profile/brianrandell.html

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