This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for June 14, 2017: A Thunderstorm In Town

June 14, 2017: on this day: Charles Babbage proposes a hand-cranked computation machine

It was on this day in 1822, the mathematician and mechanical engineer Charles Babbage presented a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society proposing a hand cranked machine using the decimal number system to make computations. This eventually led to his analytical engine, which contained the basic principles of the modern electronic computer.

The design was sound, but metalworking techniques back then were not precise enough, and this early calculator was never built.