ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Difference engine. The remains of Charles Babbage's original difference engine. Begun in 1823, it was partly completed in 1833, but was abandoned in 1842 due to lack of funds. This portion is in the Science Museum, London, England. It was designed to calculate logarithms and other mathematical functions using a system of cogs and gear wheels. Although the principles were sound, the mechanical technology was too bulky and expensive to make the idea practical. Babbage is regarded as the father of computing, however, as many of the principles of modern computers are based on this, and to a greater extent, his later proposed "analytical engine".
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