It was first described in 1837 as the successor to Babbage's difference engine, which was a design for a simpler mechanical computer. The Analytical Engine incorporated an arithmetic logic unit, control flow in the form of conditional branching and loops, and integrated memory, making it the first design for a general-purpose computer that could be described in modern terms as Turing-complete.

It was not until 1941 that Konrad Zuse built the first general-purpose computer, Z3, more than a century after Babbage had proposed the pioneering Analytical Engine in 1837. == Design == Babbage's first attempt at a mechanical computing device, the Difference Engine, was a special-purpose machine designed to tabulate logarithms and trigonometric functions by evaluating finite differences to create approximating polynomials.

Babbage developed some two dozen programs for the Analytical Engine between 1837 and 1840, and one program later.

Babbage developed some two dozen programs for the Analytical Engine between 1837 and 1840, and one program later.

These programs treat polynomials, iterative formulas, Gaussian elimination, and Bernoulli numbers. In 1842, the Italian mathematician Luigi Federico Menabrea published a description of the engine based on a lecture by Babbage in French.

In 1843, the description was translated into English and extensively annotated by Ada Lovelace, who had become interested in the engine eight years earlier.

Whenever any result is sought by its aid, the question will then arise—By what course of calculation can these results be arrived at by the machine in the shortest time?" === Computer science === From 1872 Henry continued diligently with his father's work and then intermittently in retirement in 1875. Percy Ludgate wrote about the engine in 1914 and published his own design for an Analytical Engine in 1908.

Whenever any result is sought by its aid, the question will then arise—By what course of calculation can these results be arrived at by the machine in the shortest time?" === Computer science === From 1872 Henry continued diligently with his father's work and then intermittently in retirement in 1875. Percy Ludgate wrote about the engine in 1914 and published his own design for an Analytical Engine in 1908.

The committee acknowledged the usefulness and value of the machine, but could not estimate the cost of building it, and were unsure whether the machine would function correctly after being built. Intermittently from 1880 to 1910, Babbage's son Henry Prevost Babbage was constructing a part of the mill and the printing apparatus.

"It is only a question of cards and time", wrote Henry Babbage in 1888, "...

Whenever any result is sought by its aid, the question will then arise—By what course of calculation can these results be arrived at by the machine in the shortest time?" === Computer science === From 1872 Henry continued diligently with his father's work and then intermittently in retirement in 1875. Percy Ludgate wrote about the engine in 1914 and published his own design for an Analytical Engine in 1908.

The committee acknowledged the usefulness and value of the machine, but could not estimate the cost of building it, and were unsure whether the machine would function correctly after being built. Intermittently from 1880 to 1910, Babbage's son Henry Prevost Babbage was constructing a part of the mill and the printing apparatus.

In 1910 it was able to calculate a (faulty) list of multiples of pi.

Torres demonstrated twice, in 1914 and in 1920, that all of the cogwheel functions of a calculating machine like that of Babbage could be implemented using electromechanical parts.

His 1914 analytical machine used a small memory built with electromagnets; his 1920 machine used a typewriter to receive its commands and print its results. Vannevar Bush's paper Instrumental Analysis (1936) included several references to Babbage's work.

Torres demonstrated twice, in 1914 and in 1920, that all of the cogwheel functions of a calculating machine like that of Babbage could be implemented using electromechanical parts.

His 1914 analytical machine used a small memory built with electromagnets; his 1920 machine used a typewriter to receive its commands and print its results. Vannevar Bush's paper Instrumental Analysis (1936) included several references to Babbage's work.

In the same year he started the Rapid Arithmetical Machine project to investigate the problems of constructing an electronic digital computer. Despite this groundwork, Babbage's work fell into historical obscurity, and the Analytical Engine was unknown to builders of electromechanical and electronic computing machines in the 1930s and 1940s when they began their work, resulting in the need to re-invent many of the architectural innovations Babbage had proposed.

Howard Aiken, who built the quickly-obsoleted electromechanical calculator, the Harvard Mark I, between 1937 and 1945, praised Babbage's work likely as a way of enhancing his own stature, but knew nothing of the Analytical Engine's architecture during the construction of the Mark I, and considered his visit to the constructed portion of the Analytical Engine "the greatest disappointment of my life".

In the same year he started the Rapid Arithmetical Machine project to investigate the problems of constructing an electronic digital computer. Despite this groundwork, Babbage's work fell into historical obscurity, and the Analytical Engine was unknown to builders of electromechanical and electronic computing machines in the 1930s and 1940s when they began their work, resulting in the need to re-invent many of the architectural innovations Babbage had proposed.

It was not until 1941 that Konrad Zuse built the first general-purpose computer, Z3, more than a century after Babbage had proposed the pioneering Analytical Engine in 1837. == Design == Babbage's first attempt at a mechanical computing device, the Difference Engine, was a special-purpose machine designed to tabulate logarithms and trigonometric functions by evaluating finite differences to create approximating polynomials.

Howard Aiken, who built the quickly-obsoleted electromechanical calculator, the Harvard Mark I, between 1937 and 1945, praised Babbage's work likely as a way of enhancing his own stature, but knew nothing of the Analytical Engine's architecture during the construction of the Mark I, and considered his visit to the constructed portion of the Analytical Engine "the greatest disappointment of my life".

and there is no reason why (twenty thousand) cards should not be used if necessary, in an Analytical Engine for the purposes of the mathematician". In 1991, the London Science Museum built a complete and working specimen of Babbage's Difference Engine No.

As of May 2016, actual construction had not been attempted, since no consistent understanding could yet be obtained from Babbage's original design drawings.

By 2017, the "Plan 28" effort reported that a searchable database of all catalogued material was available, and an initial review of Babbage's voluminous Scribbling Books had been completed. == Instruction set == Babbage is not known to have written down an explicit set of instructions for the engine in the manner of a modern processor manual.

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