ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Difference engine. Reconstruction of Charles Babbage's difference engine. This machine was built at London's Science Museum in 1991, and works perfectly. Babbage started to design and build his difference engine in 1823. It was designed to calculate logarithms and other mathematical functions using a system of cogs and gear wheels. A portion was completed in 1833, but the project was abandoned in 1842 due to lack of funds. 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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