Charles Babbage Portrait c. 1833 - Credit: Science Museum info
Babbage Difference Engine No. 2 Modern construction, Difference Engine No. 2, 2005 - Credit: Doron Swade info

 

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.

We invite you to learn more about this extraordinary object, its designer Charles Babbage and the team of people who undertook to build it. Discover the wonder of a future already passed. A sight no Victorian ever saw.

An identical Engine completed in March 2008 is on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Web text by Doron Swade
Babbage Engine Video
Difference Engine No. 2. in operation