This article reports on calls for a working model of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine to be built. This was an early design for what would effectively been a programmable computer, but Victorian engineering and/or politics meant that it was never constructed. John Graham-Cumming (who lead a successful campaign for a posthumous apology to Alan Turing) now wants to build the steam-powered computer, not only in an attempt to engineer the mechanism but also to run the first computer code, a ‘program’ written by Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and the ‘Enchantress of Numbers’, as well as a woman who, in recent years, has been reclaimed as a hero to both feminists and geeks.
But, as fascinating and steampunky as all this is, the best bit of trivia I came across while reading up on this was that Babbage loathed street music and busking. Wonder how he felt about living statues?