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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Babbage Gets Funded

Babbage Gets Funded

(p.88) 11 Second Carry Babbage Gets Funded
Reckoning with Matter

Matthew L. Jones

University of Chicago Press

In granting Charles Babbage £1,500 toward perfecting his Difference Engine, the chancellor of the exchequer emphasized that the government generally did not financially “encourage” inventions: “If they really possessed the merit claimed for them the sale of the article produced would always be the best reward to the inventor.” Babbage and his allies had succeeded in convincing the government that the Difference Engine warranted violating this general principle: “The construction of such a machine could not be undertaken with a view to pecuniary profit arising from the sale of its produce and that as the tables it was intended to produce were peculiarly valuable for nautical purposes it was deemed a fit object of encouragement by the Government.”...

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