Babbage Analytical Engine - CBC interview

ben bfranchuk at
Sun Oct 17 21:35:45 CDT 2010

On 17/10/2010 8:23 PM, Eric Smith wrote:
> William Donzelli wrote:
>> With one big difference - it was basically unbuildable by the British
>> machinists of the time.
> That was the conventional wisdom, but has since been disproven by the
> Science Museum in London. They measured the tolerances that Joseph
> Clement achieved in the working models of the arithmetic mechanisms of
> the DE#1 that he built for Babbage, and deliberately built a DE#2 using
> parts machined to comparable tolerances and got it to work.

I suspect it comes under *mass production * of parts all the same
quality. That did not come about until the late 19 th century.
Also I think I read that it was common to have errors in blue prints
of the time, so industrial theft would be harder to achieve.

> Unbuildable by *average* British machinists of the time, quite likely,
> but Babbage didn't try to have it built by an average machinist.

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