Analytical Engines

  • Charles Babbage
  • Merrifield
  • Major-General H. P. Babbage
  • Percy E. Ludgate
  • Leonardo Torres Y Quevedo
  • L. Couffignal

Abstract

Almost as soon as he started work on his Difference Engine in 1822 Babbage became dissatisfied with its limitations. In particular he wished to avoid the need to have the highest order of difference constant, in order to be able to use the machine directly for transcendental functions as well as algebraic functions of up to the sixth order. He does not seem to have paid much attention to this problem until 1834, after Clement had withdrawn from the project and work on the Difference Engine had been suspended. However Babbage then began to investigate the design of a multiplication mechanism and of means for connecting the accumulator to the highest order difference, so that the latter would not have to remain constant. He referred to this as “the engine eating its own tail”, a scheme which Wilkes has described as a form of digital differential analyser [1].

Keywords

Zinc Cage Steam Assure Assimilation 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Wilkes (1971).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The description of the evolution of the Analytical Engine is derived mainly from the detailed analysis by Collier (1970) of information in the Buxton Collection of manuscripts at Oxford, and Babbage’s sketchbooks and drawings at the Science Museum.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Babbage, C. (1835).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    It is interesting to note that as a boy Clement had learnt to use a hand loom, and later had designed a power loom (Smiles (1908)).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Quoted by Wilkes (1971).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Babbage, C. (1864).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Babbage, C. (1864).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Letter to Babbage from William Gravatt, dated 3 Feb. 1860, quoted by Collier (1970).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Babbage, H. P. (1888).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Both of the machines put together by Henry Babbage are now in the Science Museum.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    What little is known about Ludgate is documented in Randell (1971).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ludgate (1914).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    The main accounts of the life and work of Torres y Quevedo are d’Ocagne (1937) and Torres-Quevedo (1951 a, 1951 b).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Anon (1915).Google Scholar
  15. 1.
    C. Babbage: “Passages from the Life of a Philosopher,” p. 129.Google Scholar
  16. 2.
    R. Taylor’s “Scientific Memoirs,” 1843, vol. iii., p. 691.Google Scholar
  17. 1.
    R. Taylor’s “Scientific Memoirs,” 1843, vol. iii., p. 694.Google Scholar
  18. 2.
    R. Taylor’s “Scientific Memoirs,” 1843, vol. iii., *loc. cit., p. 696.Google Scholar
  19. 3.
    C. Babbage: “Passages from the Life of a Philosopher,” p. 450.Google Scholar
  20. 1.
    For further notes on the problem of the carrying of tens, see C. Babbage: “Passages from the Life of a Philosopher,” p. 114, &c.Google Scholar
  21. 1.
    C. Babbage: “Passages from the Life of a Philosopher,” p. 131.Google Scholar
  22. 1.
    The times given include that required for the selection of the Variables to be operated on.Google Scholar
  23. 2.
    See Report Brit. Assoc., 1878, p. 100.Google Scholar
  24. 3.
    R. Taylor’s “Scientific Memoirs,” 1843, vol. iii., p. 696.Google Scholar
  25. 1.
    Report Brit. Assoc., 1878, p. 101.Google Scholar
  26. 2.
    Machines á Calculer by L. Torres. (Mémoires présentés par divers savants étrangers à l’Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France, 2nd series, vol. 32, no. 9, 20pp. + 5 plates).Google Scholar
  27. 3.
    Essais sur l’automatique. Sa définition. Étendue théorique de ses applications by L. Torres y Quevedo, Revue Générale des Sciences, 15 Nov. 1915, pp. 601–611, 1 plate.Google Scholar
  28. 4.
    See description in La Nature, 13 Jun. 1914, pp. 56 – 61: Les automates: Le joueur d’échecs automatique de M. Torres y Quevedo, by H. Vigneron.Google Scholar
  29. 7.
    Essais sur l’automatique. Sa définition. Étendue théorique de ses applications by L. Torres y Quevedo, Revue Générale des Sciences, 15 Nov. 1915, pp. 601–611, 1 plate.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Babbage
  • Merrifield
  • Major-General H. P. Babbage
  • Percy E. Ludgate
  • Leonardo Torres Y Quevedo
  • L. Couffignal

There are no affiliations available

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