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The Heritage of Charles Babbage in Australia

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129414D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

GARRY J. TEE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Charles Babbage's eldest son, Benjamin Herschel Babbage (1815-1878), migrated to South Australia in 1851, and numerous descendants now live in Australia and New Zealand. Many relics of Charles Babbage are now in Australasia, some in museums and libraries, but most in private collections held by descendants. The relics include a large fragment of the Difference Engine, loose parts of the Difference and Analytical Engines, hundreds of letters to and from Babbage (including letters from Ada Lovelace), the manuscript of Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, and much other material.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The Heritage of Charles Babbage in Australia

GARRY J. TEE

  (Image Omitted: © 1983 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 the 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: Department of Computer Science, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Note: This article is adapted from a lecture delivered on May 13, 1981, at the Second Australian Mathematics Convention, held at the University of Sydney in Australia. © 1983 AFIPS 0164-1239/83/010045-059

The Heritage of Charles Babbage in Australia

GARRY J. TEE 00/00)

Charles Babbage's eldest son, Benjamin Herschel Babbage (1815-1878), migrated to South Australia in 1851, and numerous descendants now live in Australia and New Zealand. Many relics of Charles Babbage are now in Australasia, some in museums and libraries, but most in private collections held by descendants. The relics include a large fragment of the Difference Engine, loose parts of the Difference and Analytical Engines, hundreds of letters to and from Babbage (including letters from Ada Lovelace), the manuscript of Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, and much other material.

Categories and Subject Descriptors. A. O [General] -- biographies, C. Babbage; K.2 [History of Computing] -- C. Babbage, people General Terms: Design, Experimentation, Human Factors Additional Key Words and Phrases. Ada Lovelace, Analytical Engine, Difference Engine Charles Babbage invented the computer before Victoria was crowned queen of England. He thereby became a classic example of misunderstood genius - - so far ahead of his contemporaries that he was largely derided as a crank. It was only after he had been dead for a century that his true worth began at last to be appreciated.

Charles Babbage was born in London on December 26, 1791, son of the wealthy banker Benjamin Babbage, and he died in London on October 18, 1871. His ancestors had lived in Totnes in Devonshire for some centuries, and many authorities have asserted that Babbage was born there, but Babbage himself said he was born in London in 1792. Recent studies of parish registers by Anthony Hyman, however, show that Babbage was indeed born in South London in 1791 (Dubbey 1978, p. 5).

While Babbage was an undergraduate at Cambridge (1810 to 1814), he joined with other students, including John Herschel, in founding the Analytical Society, whose purpose was to replace British mathematics (in...