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Anecdotes: Prototype Fragments from Babbage's First Difference Engine

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1 Author(s)

The comparison of the various fragments of Babbage's first difference engine has led the author to conclude that there are intruder parts among the fragments of the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. Based on a few scant mentions in early descriptions by Babbage, the author believe that some of these fragments belong to Babbage's 1822 model, in which case this represents a recovery of bits of a missing chapter in the history of calculating machines. This model was the prototype of Babbage's first difference engine on which work began in 1823, but it was abandoned shortly after the completion of the 1832 demonstration model.

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 2 )