Babbage Difference Engine No. 2Charles Babbage designed the first automatic computing engines, but none of his creations was ever fully built.
In 2002, London's Science Museum completed the first fully-functional Difference Engine. A duplicate machine was constructed for Nathan Myhrvold, tech millionaire and former chief technology officer at Microsoft. That second machine is on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
The photos in this gallery were taken by Jitze Couperus in January, 2010 during a visit to the museum. Mr. Couperus has graciously allowed us to republish his photos of Babbage's Difference Engine and Royal McBee LGP-30 and Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6600.
Photo credit: Jitze Couperus
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.