Charles Babbage, the man whom many consider to be the father of modern computing, never got to complete any of his life’s work. The Victorian gentleman was a brilliant mathematician, but he wasn’t very good at politics and fundraising, so he never got the financial backing to finish any of his elaborate machine designs. For decades, even his fans weren’t certain whether his computing machines would have worked.
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Today, Charles Babbage writes a letter to Alfred Lord Tennyson. The University of Houston’s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.
Shorts: Death Mask — Near the end of the 19th century, a mysterious young woman with a beguiling smile turned up in Paris. She became a huge sensation. She also happened to be dead. You’d probably recognize her face yourself. You might have even touched it.
For nearly two centuries, Charles Dickens’ colorful characters and memorable expressions have worked their way into the vernacular. The prolific 19th-century English novelist left behind 989 named characters and two dozen novels full of the pathos and comedy of London’s rich and poor.