The Computing Machines of Charles Babbage

Book cover: The Computing Machines of Charles Babbage
January 31, 2011

David Alan GrierAssociate Professor of International Science and Technology Policy and International Affairs


The Computing Machines of Charles Babbage, David Alan Grier, Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society, January 2011.


Includes seven classic articles from IEEE Annals of the History of Computing and an all-new essay on Babbage by David Alan Grier.

With original introductory materials, the new essay "Overview of Babbage's Computing Machines," and a list of supplementary references, this EssentialSet adds depth and context to seven papers about Babbage's machines.

Taken together, the Set provides a modern perspective on Babbage's designs as described by engineers who understood the nature of modern computers and how Babbage's designs differ from our machines. This perspective is more familiar to contemporary readers than the descriptions prepared by Babbage and his contemporaries, and they give a fuller picture of how these machines were intended to operate.