Analytical Engine

Analytical EngineA machine first proposed by Charles Babbage in 1837 that is considered the concept for the first general mechanical computer. The Analytical Engine contained an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), basic flow control, punch cards (inspired by the Jacquard Loom), and integrated memory and is the first general-purpose computer concept. Unfortunately, because of funding issues this computer was also never built while Charles Babbage's was alive. However, in 1910 Henry Babbage, Charles Babbage's youngest son was able to complete a portion of this machine and was able to perform basic calculations. The picture is a public domain picture of the Analytical Engine.

While Charles Babbage was designing his Analytical Engine a similar device was also being developed by Percy Ludgate, who's machine used multiplication instead of addition.

Related pages

Also see: Computer History, Difference Engine, Jacquard Loom