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. Fahmy on July 24, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Brilliant. Keep it up!
    Is there a chance to pre-order the (hopefully) yet unpublished hardcopy. Should we all sign up for a subscription service?
    Or is the author waiting for a government grant?
    I want more…

  2. […] The Origin! […]

  3. […] Light att det finns en webbserie om Ada Lovelace och Charles Babbage (i en alternativ historia). Första delen presenterar den verkliga Ada. […]

  4. Dr. Psycho on July 12, 2009 at 6:33 am

    What, flimsy attempts to connect Lady Ada with Miguelito Loveless, and not a single one to her more obvious namesake? I am sooooo disappointed.

  5. John Mashey on July 12, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Jolly fun. Especially Twitter.

    But to give credit where due, the second one wasn’t done for us at the Computer History Museum.

    Nathan Myhrvold, ex Microsoft CTO, commissioned it, but we talked him into lending it to us for a while, which was very kind of him.

    We have it through the end of this year, and it gets fired up most days @ 2pm. I
    I.e. Trained docents turn the crank.

    Think f this as the first known computing startup that spent a lot of someone else’s money, had a workable design, but never shipped product, at least in part because the designer wasn’t easy to work with.

    • sydney on July 14, 2009 at 6:54 pm

      Wow, I TOTALLY thought Myhrvold was kidding when he said he was going to put it in his living room! I can hardly find room for my laptop in my living room. — I’ll correct the copy.

  6. joyjoy on July 12, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Ada is also a movie star! Played by the geekilicious Tilda Swinton!

  7. […] 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 […]

  8. Attila the Hun on July 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    They are sooo going to want to make this into a film. (Hey, if they can do it for car-morphing robots…) Any takers on who would play the leads…? :)

  9. […] you are new you probably want to start with Lovelace: The Origin. You can then (if you haven’t immediately fled), continue to read the episodes/half-baked […]

  10. […] and Charles Babbage June 6, 2009 Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Books. trackback Lovelace — The Origin tells the story of, well, the invention of the computer in the 1830s by Ada Lovelace and Charles […]

  11. Mightysinetheta on June 4, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Awesome style, love the writing. Spot on with the Twitter reference.

  12. @tw33tg33k on May 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    You, madam, are made of pure win. You pricked your finger and bled win all over this comic. Brilliant!

  13. Alice on May 26, 2009 at 8:21 am

    omg this is fsking BRILLIANT.

  14. Unfocused Me on May 26, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Just read through all the strips you’ve posted so far — love ’em. Keep them coming, please.

  15. […] May 17, 2009 · No Comments 1. Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace. (A new graphic introduction.) […]

  16. The Sunday Papers | Rock, Paper, Shotgun on May 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    […] about my occasional nom de plume Ada Lovelace. Part of me suspects she may have been the first games journalist, in that she seemed to grasp that […]

  17. Betsy Hp on May 11, 2009 at 12:46 am

    This is awesome! I love the addition of Babbage (whom I’ve never heard of, obviously my loss… that you’re totally correcting! Yay you! \o/). That final panel is so, so awesome. Of *course* they fought crime together… it’s the only logical outcome! :D

  18. Funniness! « Isaac Espriu’s Place on May 11, 2009 at 12:20 am

    […] Funniness! This is brilliant! If you’re a poet, a mathematician, interested in history, computing, or basically anything, then you need to read this comic: Lovelace — the Origin […]

  19. nullwert › Lovelace on May 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    […] Read the funny comic by Sydney Padua! Geschrieben von Philipp. Veröffentlicht am Sonntag, 10. Mai 2009 um 16:54. Abgelegt unter Netzspannung. Tags: Comic, Humor, Mathematik. Lesezeichen zu Permalink. Verfolge Kommentare mit dem RSS Feed. Einen Kommentar schreiben oder hinterlassen Sie den Trackback. […]

  20. bigredrock on May 10, 2009 at 11:24 am

    This is excellent. Thank you!

  21. Danicus on May 8, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Tell me there will be more!

  22. Bruce on May 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    I was pointed here by my daughter, who is a computer geek…and so is her sister…and so am I (for the last 50 years)…aren’t you aware of the rumor that Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was their grand-daughter?

  23. Lovelace — The Origin | on May 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    […] and gentlemen:  Ada Lovelace — The Origin!  By Sydney Padua.  Excellent stuff!  I wish i’d had a secret cabal teaching me advanced […]

  24. puckling on May 7, 2009 at 4:04 am

    This is fantastic.

  25. Skip Mendler on May 7, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Hmmmm… is it possible that Ada had an illegitimate son with Babbage… a midget… who grew up to be the insane genius DR. LOVELESS?

  26. Vera on May 6, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    You rock.

  27. arthurthedented on May 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    You must go on!

    May the muse visit you with story ideas and suffifient caffienated substances of your choice to bring them into the shared light of day!

  28. […] couple days: the experimental series known as 2D Goggles goes all difference engine on us with the totally awesome adventures of Ada, Lady Lovelace. Thrills! Spills! Swashbuckling adventure! And Babbage totally hates musicians, as confirmed by a […]

  29. vito excalibur on May 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    This is completely awesome.

  30. Ilana on May 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Okay, this is awesome to the power of awesome.

  31. Asakiyume on May 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    AWESOME! Brilliant execution. May you achieve fame beyond your wildest dreams… and… write more comics.

  32. brownbetty on May 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    OMG, I was explainging to someone how Ada Lovelace was totally awesome, and probably fought crime, and it is like you have taken what was in my brain and made into an AWESOME COMIC.

  33. Jennifer L on May 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I was pointed here by a poet, of all people. (I am myself a poet.) Hilarious!

  34. ENGINE on May 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    ‘scuse me, miss, but has anyone ever told you you are FOURTEEN different flavours of awesome? Two for every day of the week!

  35. Amal El-Mohtar on May 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    You — you amazing, astonishing person. May I adore you from afar and write you passionate letters of love in my head? Please?

  36. ratcreature on May 6, 2009 at 10:43 am

    This was great.

  37. […] webcomic: Ada Lovelace: The Origin! (via @johannadc) […]

  38. […] From 2D Goggles, a nifty steampunk comic found by Shachar. It all starts with Ada Lovelace – The Origin. […]

  39. […] recently stumbled upon Sydney Padua’s gorgeous new web comic 2D Goggles. Drawn in stark black and white, it follows Lovelace and Babbage through various adventures, […]

  40. […] don’t think Ada Lovelace: The Origin!, by Sydney Padua, will help in that direction, but boy, did I […]

  41. […] recently stumbled upon Sydney Padua’s gorgeous new web comic 2D Goggles. Drawn in stark black and white, it follows Lovelace and Babbage through various adventures, […]

  42. Matt on May 4, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    More! More! Please?

  43. Twitted by bobreturns on May 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by bobreturns – […]

  44. blackwinged on May 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    And from this moment on, she should be remembered as “Ada Loveless”.
    Kick their asses!

  45. […] Click here for for Science!” […]

  46. Elfod Nemeth on April 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    This is ridiculously cool, please please keep it up.

  47. Capt. Red Llewellyn on April 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I was pointed here by a tweet…and now i must needs find a new fan! Brilliant!

  48. Ceejay Writer on April 27, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I was pointed here by a mathematician. I’m a poet. I’m also now hysterically laughing and cannot stop long enough to pen prose. Help!

  49. Nile on April 27, 2009 at 12:26 am

    I have been pointed here by a mysterious Victorian villain called Cavalorn.

    This is a reprehensible traduction of the founding heroes of our logical art and science of programming…

    When and where will you be publishing it? And which body parts will you accept in payment for a signed copy?