Photos: The Victorian engine that could

A forward-thinking mathematician and engineer, Charles Babbage designed the Difference Engine in 1847. His work is now on display.

CNET Networks

Calling all history buffs: Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 is making its North American debut at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

A forward-thinking mathematician and engineer, Babbage designed the Difference Engine in 1847. His intent was to create an automated computing machine, but he was never able to turn his vision into reality.

Fast forward 150 years, and an impassioned Babbage expert and wealthy financier have teamed up to build Babbage's dream via a new exhibit running through next April.

See the photo gallery and video on for more.

About the author

Kara Tsuboi has covered technology news for CNET and CBS Interactive for nearly seven years. From cutting edge robotics at NASA to the hottest TVs at CES to Apple events in San Francisco, Kara has reported on it all. In addition to daily news, twice every week her "Tech Minutes" are broadcast to CBS TV stations across the country.


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