Lovelace– The Origin

This brief biographical sketch was done for Ada Lovelace Day 2009. I think I in was a pub at the time.


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From a humble beginning as a joke in a pub, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is now an Eisner-nominated graphic novel! New York Times Bestseller and winner of the British Society for the History of Mathematics Neumann Prize!



For more on Ada Lovelace not in the form of a comic book, an excellent in-depth summation of Lovelace and Babbage’s work can be found at Steven Wolfram’s blog.

Read More About Charles Babbage. Charles Babbage would totally have become a street-music destroying Masked Avenger if he could have. Actually he kind of did.

For more on the Analytical Engine, I have some animations and visualisations of it here. If that whets your appetite for gigantic steam powered Babbagey calculating machines be sure to check out Plan 28 where an intrepid crew is attempting to build one.

For the hardcore:

Ada Lovelace’s Paper on the Analytical Engine (are you HARD ENOUGH?)

Charles Babbage’s Autobiography (awesome, hilarious, fascinating, with VOLCANOES and MATH, why is this not in print?!?)


Behold the awesome might of the Difference Engine! Two working Difference Engines have been built in modern times- there’s one in the Science Museum in London, and that’s the one currently in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View California.

There’s also the whole rest of this website, with several amusing episodes and assorted oddities.


  1. […] years late to this, but here is the origin of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, in comic form. Great stuff, smart and funny. (ht Jeff Ollerton in the comments). And now I know where Brad DeLong […]

  2. Martin on October 12, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Love your drawing style including your use of black areas. And the story too, of course. The rendering of Charles Babbage on page two looks like it could have been done by Jack Davis of MAD Magazine fame, which is a major compliment in my book.

  3. […] While historical records claim that Ada Lovelace died shortly afterwards, Thrilling Adventures enlightens the reader to the existence of a Pocket Universe, in which Lovelace and Babbage lived on to build the Analytical Engine and fight crime. Which is the opening premise for the novel. (See an abridged version of this comic here). […]

  4. Miriam English on December 8, 2015 at 1:20 am

    This site is WONDERFUL!!!
    Next time I’m in town I’ll be ordering your book. It has some similarity with “Logicomix” — the story of Bertrand Russell’s quest for mathematical certainty… except yours features humor. Yay! I am a great fan of using humor to tell stories. I would love to be able to do so myself. I’ve tried, but failed pretty resoundingly. That increases my admiration of your work.

    I’d like to point out a broken link on your page
    “There’s also the whole rest of this website, with several amusing episodes and assorted oddities.”
    tries to link to but there is no such page.

    Thank you for your amazing work.
    Very best wishes for the future.

  5. Today is Ada Lovelace day | not only chemistry on October 13, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    […] You can find the whole comic and many other interesting ones in Sydney Padua website. […]

  6. Jen on March 1, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I was researching famous scientists for my son’s birthday party and was thinking the lovelace babbage story was interesting when I discovered your sight though google images. This is AMAZING! I already pre-ordered the book.

  7. […] that great!’ that some surround systems seem so keen on. The spacial idea was inspired by the Sydney Padua cartoons where Ada is lost in the internal workings of the Analytical Engine (see above) and this is […]

  8. […] strongly suggest that the reader discovers them via the end-notes attached to each installment of this work of historical and comedic genius. 2D Goggles: Babbage and Lovelace (Fight Crime!), created by […]

  9. […] ≈ Leave a comment […]

  10. Texter till min steampunk-kurs | on February 24, 2014 at 7:23 am

    […] Sydney Padua: 2D Goggles – The Client (plus The Origin) […]

  11. Ada Lovelace Day: Jen Phillips - Russell Phillips on February 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    […] For more information about Ada Lovelace Day, see For a brief (but not entirely accurate) comic biography of Ada Lovelace, see Ada Lovelace: The Origin. […]

  12. Improbable Research » Blog Archive on December 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    […] has inspired a range of computer programmers, steampunk illustrators, and at least one YouTube hair tutorial.  You can purchase an image of her hair, via […]

  13. […] of women in the technology fields.  As such, it is only fitting I share with you the comic 2d Goggles, or, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage! The origin story of this comic was conceived for Ada Lovelace day, as a humorous way to tell the […]

  14. TyneePoni on October 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    So my friend Doris shared this on FB. What a hoot. Love it! Yay for those early girl geeks! Or any girl geeks!

  15. […] If this cyberpunk cartoon is to believe, she and Babbage used this power to fight crime. […]

  16. Ada Lovelace Day 2013! | 2D Goggles on October 15, 2013 at 11:36 am

    […] Ada Lovelace Day everybody! If you’re new to this blog, you will probably want to start with Lovelace: The Origin, so you know who everybody […]

  17. […] learn more about the “origin story” of Ada Lovelace click through this incredible comic that artist/animator Sydney Padua made for Ada Lovelace day back in 2009. It became so popular that […]

  18. […] learn more about the “origin story” of Ada Lovelace click through this incredible comic that artist/animator Sydney Padua made for Ada Lovelace day back in 2009. It became so popular that […]

  19. […] fuente muy entretenida para conocer mas sobre este personaje histórico es el webcomic “The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage“, donde Sydney Padua nos presenta una versión steampunk de los hechos acontecidos, contando […]

  20. […] give you an idea of what I’m on about, here’s a page from “Ada Lovelace: The Origin!” by Sydney Padua. Very nice stuff […]

  21. […] bom ponto de partida para ler os quadrinhos é esta primeira história. &nbsp&nbsp comente […]

  22. Surreal connections | Media Digest on June 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    […] about Babbage and also why a Victorian lady’s fan is no substitute for Twitter. Intrigued? You should be. Comments […]

  23. maaaa on July 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Are the twitter panels a new addition? I remember reading this comic a couple years ago, but I didn’t remember these

  24. Alexandra on May 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Brilliant! Just bought the iPad app and love the comic. Of course, can’t wait for more. Hope it’s coming soon, and more than happy to pay for something this good! Btw, do you have any badges I can put on my links page?

  25. Lady Ada At Your Service on October 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    […] So Ada turned out to be a right sharp little nut, despite the unalloyed nuttiness of her forbears. In fact, her story is so phenomenal that I honestly think it can only best be told in a dramatic black and white webcomic format, by the altogether delightful 2D Goggles, AKA Sydney Padua. […]

  26. At Least In Theory on October 10, 2011 at 6:10 am

    […] I discovered something even cooler: a web comic about the alternate-universe lives of Lady Lovelace and her mentor, Charles Babbage, as crime […]

  27. […] If you have no idea what I am going on about, or if you haven’t heard of Ada Lovelace or the Difference Engine, I suggest you begin your education here. […]

  28. clausia on October 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    App for iPad? :(
    What about an app for Andriod? :D
    I can help :)
    Congratz for this brief biographical sketch, it’s great! :D:D:D

  29. […] you know Lovelace and Babbage, right? This here should be familiar to all writers of fiction and just slightly shame-inducing for […]

  30. Anton Sherwood on April 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I have a Dover edition of Babbage’s memoirs, but — shock, horror — can’t find it on Dover’s website.

  31. Ink Stains and the Brainy Girl « 2000irises on April 1, 2011 at 4:16 am

    […] Ifreet has been raving about 2D Goggles or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. I cannot second her rave […]

  32. […] artist. What was supposed to be a joke about Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage fighting crime in Lovelace: The Origin morphed into a full-blown webcomic of the two as partners in […]

  33. […] Comic steampunk de Sydney Padua (inglés) […]

  34. […] upon the graphic webcomic 2D Goggles or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage. More hysterically related historical information about Byron’s girl genius in the math […]

  35. Christina S. on March 9, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I found this through Hark! A Vagrant, and I just want to say how incredibly happy it makes me to see not only a Steampunk comic about Lovelace and Babbage, but a good one at that. I tip my hat to you, good sir!

    • Candice R on December 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      (The author not a Sir. She’s a lady)

  36. Lovelace & Babbage « Rhan's dan on February 25, 2011 at 4:29 am

    […] I was cruising Kate Beaton’s website, and suddenly there was a hole in my life of which I was hitherto unaware. It has now been filled, mightily. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  37. Andi on February 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Wonderful! I love your style.

  38. Dan on February 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Sorry.. your bookmark thingie is neater than this, but here, from Appendix A of the notes on the Menabrea paper, is a long sentence, beautiful.. exactly 1 paragraph long… a universe in flux, seen and unseen.. er.. poetic..

    ..executive manipulation of algebraical and numerical symbols.

    Those who view mathematical science, not merely as a vast body of abstract and immutable truths, whose intrinsic beauty, symmetry and logical completeness, when regarded in their connexion together as a whole, entitle them to a prominent place in the interest of all profound and logical minds, but as possessing a yet deeper interest for the human race, when it is remembered that this science constitutes the language through which alone we can adequately express the great facts of the natural world, and those unceasing changes of mutual relationship which, visibly or invisibly, consciously or unconsciously to our immediate physical perceptions, are interminably going on in the agencies of the creation we live amidst: those who thus think on mathematical truth as the instrument through which the weak mind of man can most effectually read his Creator’s works, will regard with especial interest all that can tend to facilitate the translation of its principles into explicit practical forms.

    The distinctive characteristic of the Analytical Engine, and that which has rendered it possible to endow mechanism wi…

  39. An evening with TEDxOrenda… « Patrick's Blog on January 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    […] Padua covered lots of geek bases in her discussion of her online comic, 2dgoggles, featuring the crime fighting due of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. In an alternate universe, […]

  40. Nicole, of the Forgotten Island on December 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Heyyyy… found this via the Geek Calendar, which I acquired from TAM London, and… wow, this is awesome.

    (also, is the mention of an alien invasion in 1898 a reference to War of the Worlds? The literature geek in me needs to know..)

    Brilliant start, anyway, and now I’m going to go and read the rest….

  41. Woot100 on November 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I have been on your site for sometime.
    Minding my own beeswax and not commenting on your AMAZING work.
    Well nows the time. 1.:I love your work. its funny,
    Its odd, Its wonderful. 2.:Steampunk sould be on every book shelf.
    3.B:I wanted to do something dumb but funny like this:
    OOOOOoooooooOOOOOooooo! IM FROM THE FUTERE!!!!!

    • Mad_Dave on February 1, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you for such wonderful Education: Presented in such an Illustrative and Amusing Manner.
      And Amazon should not have been the sole supplier; their computer is Terrible (doubt less due to Translation Difficulties.
      Thank you

  42. Sophia Harrison on October 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    my sister is a computer programmer and she earns lots of buxx from it**~

  43. She Blinded Me With… Math! « Nonfiction Comics on September 21, 2010 at 5:04 am

    […] is informed by actual facts and research, and there is the occasional strip based in reality, like Ada Lovelace—The Origin and this guest column for BBC TechLab, with snippets of dialog and other information taken from […]

  44. Stjernepiloten « KataMaren on August 25, 2010 at 7:16 am

    […] er et initiativ for å fremme kvinnelige teknologer. Les tegneserien for en morsom introduksjon til hvem Ada Lovelace var. from → kjønn, teknologi ← Tungvindt bagasje Fukt og tegninger → […]