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Review: The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: the (mostly) true story of the first computer, by Sydney Padua
A review of the popular, comic-style illustrated book by Sydney Padua that fictionalises the lives of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage and their invention of the first computer.
Zygalski sheets: Polish codebreaking and the role of reconstruction in the Top Secret exhibition at the Science Museum
A reflection on reconstructing Zygalski sheets, a manual grid-based system used by the Polish Cipher Bureau and Bletchley Park to decrypt German Enigma cipher messages, for the Top Secret exhibition at the Science Museum Group from 2019 to 2022.
This paper proposes the analogy of ventriloquism as a way of extending the discussion about how objects speak and are used to tell different stories to audiences in museums as ‘material polyglots’. It explores how the Science Museum has changed the voices, stories, and physical and instrumental functions of a particular object – the ‘Trainbox’ version of the Douglas Hartree’s Differential Analyser – since it was collected in 1949.
Despite the steam locomotive being the persistent image of railway history, this article aims to show that the railway’s early use of electrical technology within its business systems meant it was in closer alignment with the emergence of computer technology and its forebears than is usually assumed.