Scheutz Difference Engine
Scheutz Difference Engine
In 1834 Georg Scheutz (1785-1873) devised a Difference Engine based on the published account of the Babbage machine but different in design and form. The 1843 improved model included a mechanism for printing results. In 1851 funding was obtained and work begun. The completed version of 1853 — of which this is a replica — was the first dependable and useful machine of its type and the first printing calculator. It was taken to England in 1854, patented in 1855 and awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exposition the same year. Two models were constructed and performed successfully. One was used at the Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, to compute tables of Mars. The support of the production of those tables was the first contractual commitment by the U.S. government for machine-produced computations. The second machine was used in the British Registrar's Office for the computation of tables for life insurance.