Lovelace– The Origin

This brief biographical sketch was done for Ada Lovelace Day, organized by my good buddy Suw Charman. I think I in was a pub at the time.


This comic is now available as a free iPad app, complete with extensive notes, illustrations, and a ton of interesting historical documents! The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, the Graphic Novel, is coming from Pantheon Books in 2015.

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

True: Most of it. Except for the inaccurate bits. It’s close enough for comics.

Read More About Ada Lovelace. She didn’t really hate poetry, it’s just a good punchline. All her dialogue above is stuff she actually wrote. Except for the obvious exception.

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.

Of course you could just look them up on Wikipedia, the interwebs if full of Babbage and Lovelace stuff, and I should hope so! 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.

144 Responses to “Lovelace– The Origin”

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

  2. Woot100 says:

    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 says:

      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

  3. Nicole, of the Forgotten Island says:

    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….

  4. Dan says:

    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…

  5. Andi says:

    Wonderful! I love your style.

  6. Christina S. says:

    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!

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

  8. clausia says:

    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

  9. Alexandra says:

    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?

  10. maaaa says:

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

  11. TyneePoni says:

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

  12. Jen says:

    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.


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  3. […] 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, […]

  4. […] 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 […]

  5. […] 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 […]

  6. […] 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 […]

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

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

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  14. […] 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 […]

  15. […] 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 […]

  16. […] 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 […]

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