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The Printed Papers of Charles Babbage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129342D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

ALFRED W. VAN SINDEREN: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This paper is intended to correct the list of printer papers Charles Babbage (1791-1871) that Babbage printed in the back of his partial autobiography, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (London, 1864). That list has been reprinted in several modern publications, but no attempt has been made to make it accurate or complete until this article. In an effort to make the list more useful to the reader, notes follow many of the items to explain their significance in Babbage's life and work.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc., Volume 2, Number 2, April 1980. Used with permission.

The Printed Papers of Charles Babbage

ALFRED W. VAN SINDEREN

(Image Omitted: © 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's address: 227 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06506. © 1980 AFIPS 0164-1239/80/020169-185

The Printed Papers of Charles Babbage

ALFRED W. VAN SINDEREN .00/0)

This paper is intended to correct the list of printer papers Charles Babbage (1791-1871) that Babbage printed in the back of his partial autobiography, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (London, 1864). That list has been reprinted in several modern publications, but no attempt has been made to make it accurate or complete until this article. In an effort to make the list more useful to the reader, notes follow many of the items to explain their significance in Babbage's life and work.

No manuscript items are included; the paper deals only with Babbage's list of printed works, as they existed at the time of his death. Keywords and phrases: Babbage, bibliography, publications, mathematics, Analytical Engine, Difference Engine

CR category: 1.2

Introduction

"I have frequently had applications to u rite my life, both from my countrymen and from foreigners," wrote Charles Babbage -- in Passage from the Life of a Philosopher (1864, p. vii); "to many of these I sent a list of my works, with the remark that they formed the best life of an author." Indeed they do, in large measure, when accurately listed and their significance at least partially explained. Unfortunately, Babbage's lists were not accurate, nor were they supplemented with any explanation or description. This paper attempts to correct that situation and thereby assist the reader who wishes more fully to understand and appreciate this gifted and farsighted man. A few preliminary words are needed for the benefit of those who know little about Babbage, his life, and his work.

Charles Babbage, the Man

For the past 25 years or so, Charles Babbage has been known as a scientific pioneer whose work presaged the development of modern computer technology. Many words of praise were

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1980 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 2 Number 2, Pages 169-185

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The Printed Papers of Charles Babbage

written about Babbage after his death in 1871, but modern evaluation of his work probably took hold in 1953 wi...