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Reckoning with MatterCalculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking About Thinking from Pascal to Babbage$
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Matthew L. Jones

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226411460

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.001.0001

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Babbage and Clement Mechanize Table Making

Babbage and Clement Mechanize Table Making

(p.44) 1 First Carry Babbage and Clement Mechanize Table Making
Reckoning with Matter

Matthew L. Jones

University of Chicago Press

In his idiosyncratic autobiography Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, Charles Babbage explained, “The most important part of the Analytical Engine,” his envisioned general-purpose calculating engine, “was undoubtedly the mechanical method of carrying tens.”1 Solving the problem of carrying tens figured prominently in the quest to construct Babbage’s Difference En­gines, a series of partially built and envisioned automated machines for mech­anizing and securing the calculation and printing of numerical tables—crucial military, commercial, and scientific technologies well into the second half of the twentieth century....

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