Charles Babbage first articulates his idea for a calculating engine
3rd July 1822
Charles Babbage first articulated the principles of a calculating engine in a letter to Sir Humphrey Davy in 1822.
This letter was the first public discussion and detailed description of the machine which would become Babbage's Difference Engine.
Babbage says in the letter:
The intolerable labour and fatiguing monotony of a continued repetition of similar arithmetical calculation, first excited the desire and afterwards suggested the idea, of a machine, which, by the aid of gravity or any other moving power, should become a substitute for one of the lower operations of human intellect.
Although the designs Babbage attempted to build never worked properly, they represent the first steps in the construction of machines that would compute numbers faster and more accurately than humans performing the same job.
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