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Part of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine assembled after his death by Babbage's son, using parts found in his laboratory.

The brass parts were machined by the toolmaker Joseph Clement. Babbage never completed his difference engine, partly due to problems with friction and machining accuracy, but also because he kept changing the design. Henry Provost Babbage inherited the pieces following his father's death in 1871, and some years later in 1879 he assembled several working sections of the full machine. Possibly as many as seven assembled sections exist.

This portion, in the Whipple Museum of the History of Science of the University of Cambridge, demonstrates how the addition and carry mechanism works.

In the photograph, part of the left hand side is obscured by reflections from the glass display case.

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 5 November 2004.
I, the author of this work, hereby publish it under the following license:
Creative Commons License
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This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.

  • Uploaded to English Wikipedia November 6, 2004, by en:User:Solipsist.

The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed):
  • Charles Babbage
  • Difference engine
  • Addition
  • Portal talk:History of science/Picture
  • Portal:History of science/Previous pictures
  • User:Solipsist/object gallery