The Analytical Engine Comes to Life

An enterprising man by the name of John Graham-Cumming is intending to build the first ever Analytical Engine, a 1830’s computer first conceptualized by Charles Babbage. The Analytical Engine was to be a mechanical, reprogrammable data cruncher made from brass and iron, the second, updated version of the Difference Engine that was actually built.

John Graham-Cumming is intending to bring the Analytical Engine to life, but first, he has to determine which of Babbage’s many plans for the Analytical Engine should be the one to follow. Babbage was constantly revising the plans for it up until his death, so there is no single set of plans for a creator to simply read and follow. And that, naturally, makes the process of creating this machine that much more complicated.

Trial model of a part of the Analytical Engine, built by Babbage, as displayed at the Science Museum (London)

 

Graham-Cumming’s set up a website called Plan 28 that is devoted to raising awareness of, and funds for, the project, so be sure to visit if you are interested in assisting the creation of the first functioning Analytical Engine.