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Difference engines: from Müller to Comrie

Michael R. Williams

in The History of Mathematical Tables: From Sumer to Spreadsheets

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780198508410
eISBN:
9780191708831
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508410.003.0006
Subject:
Mathematics, History of Mathematics

Most people in the computing disciplines know of the famous difference engine designed by Charles Babbage, but many are unaware of several others that were produced after Babbage's efforts and even ... More


“WHAT THE WAVES WERE ALWAYS SAYING”: Voices, Volumes, Dombey and Son

John M. Picker

in Victorian Soundscapes

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780195151916
eISBN:
9780199787944
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151916.003.0002
Subject:
Literature, 19th-century and Victorian Literature

Charles Dickens's anguish about writing Dombey and Son, his own need to satisfy his increasingly stringent standards of expression in fiction, is reflected in the novel's preoccupation with the ... More


THE SOUNDPROOF STUDY: Victorian Professional Identity and Urban Noise

John M. Picker

in Victorian Soundscapes

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780195151916
eISBN:
9780199787944
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151916.003.0003
Subject:
Literature, 19th-century and Victorian Literature

This chapter argues that later 19th-century Londoners' deliberations over street music serve as a gauge of that urban community's explicit demands and entrenched biases. It shows how fights for ... More


Engine Noise and Artificial Intelligence: Babbage’s London

Gavin Williams

in Sound Knowledge: Music and Science in London, 1789-1851

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
September 2017
ISBN:
9780226402079
eISBN:
9780226402109
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226402109.003.0009
Subject:
Music, History, American

Williams describes Charles Babbage as he neared the end of his life: living on Dorset Street in Marylebone alongside an old Difference Engine and an incomplete Analytical Machine, one working ... More


The computation factory: de Prony's project for making tables in the 1790s

Ivor Grattan-Guinness

in The History of Mathematical Tables: From Sumer to Spreadsheets

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780198508410
eISBN:
9780191708831
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508410.003.0005
Subject:
Mathematics, History of Mathematics

A large set of logarithmic and trigonometric tables was produced at the end of the 18th century under the direction of Gaspard Riche de Prony. Although they were completed in 1801, their size made ... More


Peacock, Babbage, and the “Heresy of the Dots”

Menachem Fisch

in Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
May 2018
ISBN:
9780226514482
eISBN:
9780226514659
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226514659.003.0007
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

The chapter describes the background to the young Peacock's mathematical career – his involvement as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, alongside fellow students John Herschel, Charles ... More


Escaping History: The New Historicism, Databases, and Contingency

Alan Liu

in Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226486956
eISBN:
9780226486970
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226486970.003.0010
Subject:
Literature, Criticism/Theory

This chapter speculates at once retrospectively and prospectively on the function of the New Historicism in the age of the database. In the New Historicism and other forms of postmodern cultural ... More


Control

Seb Franklin

in Control: Digitality as Cultural Logic

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
May 2016
ISBN:
9780262029537
eISBN:
9780262331135
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262029537.003.0001
Subject:
Society and Culture, Technology and Society

This chapter opens with a discussion of Gilles Deleuze’s theorization of control societies and its relation to concepts of post-Fordism, neoclassical economics, immaterial labor, and attention ... More


The Gender of Automata in Victorian Britain

M. Norton Wise

in Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
March 2013
ISBN:
9780226720807
eISBN:
9780226720838
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226720838.003.0009
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter looks at a problem regarding sex ratios, those involving automata, and explores the implications of Darwinian evolution for Victorian ideas about women, as instantiated in the ... More


Enlightenment Reason, Cold War Rationality, and the Rule of Rules

Paul Erickson, Judy L. Klein, Lorraine Daston, Paul Rebecca, Thomas Sturm, and Michael D. Gordin

in How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind: The Strange Career of Cold War Rationality

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2014
ISBN:
9780226046631
eISBN:
9780226046778
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226046778.003.0002
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

In the two decades following the close of World War II, philosophers, mathematicians, economists, political scientists, military strategists, computer scientists, and psychologists defined and ... More


Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking About Thinking from Pascal to Babbage

Matthew L. Jones

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9780226411460
eISBN:
9780226411637
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.001.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This book studies mechanical calculating machines in the period before they became everyday commodities, from the attempts of Pascal in the 1640s through Babbage’s efforts in the 1820s-1840s. Through ... More


The Grand Unified Theory of Computation

Moore Cristopher

in The Nature of Computation

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
December 2013
ISBN:
9780199233212
eISBN:
9780191775079
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233212.003.0007
Subject:
Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

This chapter explores a universal notion of computation, first by describing Charles Babbage's vision of a mechanical device that can perform any calculation as well as David Hilbert's dream of a ... More


Rare Events

Steven J. Osterlind

in The Error of Truth: How History and Mathematics Came Together to Form Our Character and Shape Our Worldview

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
January 2019
ISBN:
9780198831600
eISBN:
9780191869532
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198831600.003.0011
Subject:
Mathematics, Logic / Computer Science / Mathematical Philosophy

This chapter shows that the quantification worldview was not spreading uniformly across even the developed world. In the United States, the spread was slow, because nearly everyone was consumed with ... More


Computer Dreams

Chris Bleakley

in Poems That Solve Puzzles: The History and Science of Algorithms

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
October 2020
ISBN:
9780198853732
eISBN:
9780191888168
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198853732.003.0003
Subject:
Mathematics, History of Mathematics, Logic / Computer Science / Mathematical Philosophy

Chapter 3 tells the story of the visionaries that first imagined the computer. In the 19th century, Charles Babbage invented a mechanical computer but failed in his attempts to build it. He and Ada ... More


Calculating Machines, Creativity, and Humility from Leibniz to Turing

Matthew L. Jones

in Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking About Thinking from Pascal to Babbage

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9780226411460
eISBN:
9780226411637
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.003.0012
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Philosophers in the eighteenth century did not see machines capable of arithmetic as threatening the distinctiveness of human reasoning. Despite famous claims by Hobbes and Leibniz, calculation was ... More


Industrial Copies

Alain Pottage and Brad Sherman

in Figures of Invention: A History of Modern Patent Law

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
April 2015
ISBN:
9780199595631
eISBN:
9780191807282
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199595631.003.0002
Subject:
Law, Intellectual Property, IT, and Media Law

This chapter examines industrial copying by referring to Charles Babbage's theory, which expressed the basic phenomenological premise of modern patent law. It first considers manufacturing as a way ... More


The Palatial Laboratory: Economy and Experiment

Simon Werrett

in Thrifty Science: Making the Most of Materials in the History of Experiment

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
September 2019
ISBN:
9780226610252
eISBN:
9780226610399
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226610399.003.0009
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Chapter Eight argues that changes in oeconomy and thrift circa 1600-1800 culminated in the nineteenth century in a new approach to materials that I call "economic science." This entailed the rise of ... More


Introduction

Matthew L. Jones

in Reckoning with Matter: Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking About Thinking from Pascal to Babbage

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9780226411460
eISBN:
9780226411637
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226411637.003.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Understanding early modern calculating machines, the introduction explains, demands combining histories of labor, of mechanical contrivances, of intellectual history, and of philosophical reflection ... More


Coda: Newton and Mathematical Physics in France in the Twilight of the Sun King

J.B. Shank

in Before Voltaire: The French Origins of "Newtonian" Mechanics, 1680-1715

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
May 2019
ISBN:
9780226509297
eISBN:
9780226509327
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226509327.003.0011
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This Coda closes the book by reflecting on the initial reception of Newton's Principia in France as it relates to the eruption after 1715 of the "Newton Wars," and the very different understanding of ... More


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