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IBM SPEAKERS BUREAU SLIDE SHOW

Slide 46
Charles Babbage

Courtesy: IBM Corporation

Babbage 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 different.

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.

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2006 San Diego Computer Museum
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