Reference numberNLB/46/684
Alternative reference numberNLB/46 p409
TitleCopy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to Eden Herschel Babbage, Rawhiti Clanville Road, Roseville, New South Wales
Date14 October 1912
DescriptionHis letter of 22 July was received here at the end of August, but was delayed due to the vacation period. Harrison has taken considerable pains to trace any report or papers prepared by the Royal Society on the possibility of completing [Charles] Babbage's Calculating machine, but can find nothing later than the report of a Committee in 1829 which recommended the construction of the machine. The result was that the difference engine was partially constructed and abandoned for want of funds. It is now with the Science Museum.

The more comprehensive analytical engine, if constructed, would probably have superseded the difference engine, and it was this machine that formed the subject of an enquiry in 1878 by a Committee of the British Association, which reported against its construction. This appears to be the last report on the subject, and is available to buy in the British Association's Volume of Reports for 1878.

The Director of the Science Museum has also checked through his records, and confirms Harrison's enquiries that no action has been taken so lately as 1899.

Sending the description of the the difference engine, in case he does not have it, and a copy of the general conclusions of the British Association's Committtee reports.
Physical descriptionTypescript
Access statusOpen
Related records in the catalogueMC/27/6
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