Babbage Difference Engine

Babbage Difference Engine closeup

This remarkable machine was on display and featured in live demonstrations at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA until it was removed in January 2016 (the unit was a second copy on loan from a private benefactor of the project, Nathan Myhrvold, formerly chief technology officer and Group VP at Microsoft). The first reconstructed Babbage engine is on public display at the Science Museum in London.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871), computer pioneer, designed the first automatic computing engines. He invented computers but failed to build them. The first complete Babbage Engine was completed in London in 2002, 153 years after it was designed. Difference Engine No. 2, built faithfully to the original drawings, consists of 8,000 parts, weighs five tons, and measures 11 feet long.

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