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Punch Cards in the Style of Charles Babbage

Punch Cards in the Style of Charles Babbage

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In 1840, the English mathematician Charles Babbage visited Europe, spending considerable time in the Italian city of Turin, where he expounded on the principles of his analytical engine. These punch cards represent his thinking about how the operation of a computing device might be controlled by punch cards.
One card is white on both sides. The other is tan on one side and grayish-brown on the other. Each card has round holes at both ends, as well as two rows of round holes in the middle. There also are cuts in the top and bottom edges.
Currently not on view
Object Name
punch cards
date made
place made
Italy: Piedmont, Turin
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall - each: 12.9 cm x 5.6 cm; 5 3/32 in x 2 7/32 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Punch Cards
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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