never completed his engines, some of his pain and frustration
showing in this picture. But his son, Henry, spent some
time later in his life working on the Analytical Engine.
The assembled pieces of this machine along with the unfinished
portion of the Difference Engine are at the Science Museum,
London. Replicas are in the IBM collection.
Most of Babbage's contemporaries thought he was an eccentric
dreamer obsessed with a slightly mad vision. Even those
who tried to understand conceded only that his engine
was an interesting theoretical possibility. However, looking
back from this age of the computer, Babbage looks quite
He is seen as an unheralded prophet of the modern era,
an impractical genius who could not reconcile the grandeur
of his vision with the technological capabilities of his
own age, and who therefore wasted most of his talents.