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On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures by Charles Babbage
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On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures
by Charles Babbage


The present volume may be considered as one of the
consequences that have resulted from the calculating engine, the
construction of which I have been so long superintending. Having
been induced, during the last ten years, to visit a considerable
number of workshops and factories, both in England and on the
Continent, for the purpose of endeavouring to make myself
acquainted with the various resources of mechanical art, I was
insensibly led to apply to them those principles of
generalization to which my other pursuits had naturally given
rise. The increased number of curious processes and interesting
facts which thus came under my attention, as well as of the
reflections which they suggested, induced me to believe that the
publication of some of them might be of use to persons who
propose to bestow their attention on those enquiries which I have
only incidentally considered. With this view it was my intention
to have delivered the present work in the form of a course of
lectures at Cambridge; an intention which I was subsequently
induced to alter. The substance of a considerable portion of it
has, however, appeared among the preliminary chapters of the
mechanical part of the Encyclopedia Metropolitana.