BBC News – Campaign builds to construct Babbage Analytical Engine



A UK campaign to build a truck-sized, prototype computer first envisaged in 1837 is gathering steam.

More than 1,600 people have pledged money and support to build Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.

Although elements of the engine have been built over the last 173 years, a complete working model of the steam-powered machine has never been made.

The campaign hopes to gather donations from 50,000 supporters to kick-start the project.

“It’s an inspirational piece of equipment,” said John Graham-Cumming, author of the Geek Atlas, who has championed the idea.

“A hundred years ago, before computers were available, [Babbage] had envisaged this machine.”

Computer historian Dr Doron Swade said that rebuilding the machine could answer “profound historical questions”.

“Could there have been an information age in Victorian times? That is a very interesting question,” he told BBC News.

via BBC News – Campaign builds to construct Babbage Analytical Engine.

Wow. And less than 200 years after it was first designed. Charles Babbage may get some acclaim yet…


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