Meccano differential analyser, 1947

Made:
1934; 1947
maker:
Meccano Limited

Main part of a working model of a differential analyser constructed from the construction toy, Meccano, made by Professor Douglas Hartree and Arthur Porter at University of Manchester, England, 1934. Reconstructed by Prof. Douglas Hartree at University of Cambridge, England, 1947

Main part of a working model of a differential analyser constructed from the construction toy, Meccano, by Prof. Douglas Hartree and Arthur Porter at University of Manchester, England, 1934, and reconstructed by Prof. Douglas Hartree at University of Cambridge, England, 1947.

A differential analyser is an analogue computer designed to solve equations using a wheel and disk mechanism. This model was built using the toy Meccano over 18 months by research student Arthur Porter. Porter was working under the supervision of Professor Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897-1958), a professor of theoretical physics, who was waiting for a full-size analyser to be built. Although it needed setting and operating by hand, the machine was able to solve difficult equations.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Web

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

DisplayLocation:
Science Museum, Information Age Gallery: Web
Category:
Mathematics
Materials:
brass (copper, copper (alloy), mahogany (wood), metal (unknown), steel (metal), textile, varnish, wood composites (birch plywood), wood composites (plywood-unknown), zinc alloy)
Identifier:
1949-134 Pt1
type:
model - representation
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Donated by R Hartree
status:
Permanent collection

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.