Maker Faire

Computing by Steam

Type: Maker Table/Exhibit
Program Area: Computers

Day/Time: Saturday and Sunday

Location: Fiesta Hall

Working Meccano models of Charles Babbage's Difference Engines #1 and #2 will be explained and demonstrated. My model of Difference Engine #1 (based on the fragment of Difference Engine #1 which Babbage assembled in 1832) was pictured in the premier issue of Make. Since then I have completed a much more ambitious model of Difference Engine #2 (based on Babbage's original drawings of 1848). Both models are constructed almost entirely from standard Meccano set parts.

These machines calculate using the "method of differences", and can tabulate polynomial expressions entirely automatically by simply turning a hand crank.

Related site: http://www.meccano.us/difference_engines/rde_1/index.html

Photo

Presenters

Tim and Lisa Robinson