Babbage's Calculating Machine (129 words)

Historical Context Note

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In a paper given to the Royal Astronomical Society the previous year, Charles Babbage had proposed the possibility of a piece of machinery that could carry out mathematical calculations, and avoid the errors inevitable in tables of logarithms. In 1823, the British government expressed an interest in the project, and agreed to fund Babbage to design and create such a machine. Such a piece of equipment turned out to be extremely expensive to build, since it needed to be accurate to a very high degree. The government ultimately spent a total of £17,000 on the project, before they drew it to a halt in 1842. Babbage's Difference Engine was never built during his lifetime, but it was finally constructed, from the original designs, in London i…

Editors. "Babbage's Calculating Machine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 20 March 2019.]

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