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. Blue Cobalt on August 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Is there more? Where please? Pretty please? Pretty please with binary sprinkles and a powdering of bites?

  2. Trinity James on August 13, 2010 at 2:35 am

    being a computer programmer myself makes me very proud of my job;.”

  3. Clare DeVries on August 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Just wanted to say “Absolutely love your comic!”

    I’m fascinated to meet Ada Lovelace. Especially as I’m designing sets for a new play about her near contemporary Margaret Fuller – another smart, strong-minded feminist who crashed the boys’ club of Transcendentalism. Just wish I could steampunk this.

    BTW also love the thaumatrope I made from your design. Thanks!

  4. Emmett Davenport on August 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Your comic is absolutely wonderful and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it. We’ll happily mention it on our next program.

  5. Floyd on August 6, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Currently (8/2010) I’m an unemployed programmer analyst and sometime engineer.

    Somehow, the Fates have sent me toward 2D Goggles, Ada, Brunel, and Babbage. You must be the Head Fate, of course.

    Sydney, I know you are busy animating Narnia and all that, but your witty cartoons keep me and many more science, poetry, math, and Star Trek engineering geeks laughing through the madness around us all.

    Keep us all laughing, won’t you? We won’t allow any musicians to disturb your drawings and animations in the meantime…


  6. Jonty Oliver on May 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    This is so beautiful I nearly cried. You are a certifiable genius/maniac. Please make sure that your planned take over of the world (I am assuming there is one somewhere in amongst your plans) is as brilliantly thought out and presented. World leaders will simply hand you their countries. Good luck, Jonts

  7. Norene Ribbink on May 11, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Simply amazing and brilliant. I’ve learned a thing or two here. Thanks.

  8. happy Ada Lovelace day « meta-meta-medieval on March 30, 2010 at 3:16 am

    […] Lovelace: The Origin for a biographical sketch of our heroine and a fine first step into her […]

  9. […] Ada Lovelace is regarded as the world’s first computer programmer – working in conjunction Charles Babbage, the famous mathematician and engineer who is credited as being the ‘Father of the Computer’, she created an encoded algorithm which is now considered to be the world’s first computer programmer.  She also predicted that one day these computing machines could do far more than crunch numbers, including creating music.   Windows 7?  Her idea, probably.   […]

  10. Happy Ada Lovelace Day! | Jonathan Herzog on March 25, 2010 at 3:36 am

    […] lie. I also take the opportunity to link to the best biography of Ada Lovelace ever written. (For those of you who are not computer scientists yourselves, take it from me: this is exactly […]

  11. ryuus Hort» Heute ist Ada Lovelace Day! on March 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    […] sie gebloggt? Martin Marheinecke die Mädchenmannschaft hanhaiwen Und hier gibt es einen Comic über sie. Ach ja, ihren berühmten Aufsatz gibt es auch im Netz: […]

  12. Katherine on March 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Omg. So awesome.

    now I want a fan that is also a cellphone.

  13. Kaolin Fire on March 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm

  14. […] casual appearances, it’s not the birthday of Ada Lovelace (or even her real-life counterpart), but it’s never a bad day to honor her contributions […]

  15. […] to you by the very talented, Mars endorsed animator chick, Sydney Padua) for the brilliant tale “Lovelace: the Origin”, as well as many other funny misadventures of “Lovelace and […]

  16. […] Geeks, aufgepasst: Auf sydneypadua gibt es außerdem ein Comic, welches zeigt, wie sehr Ada Lovelace ihrer Zeit voraus war.  Drucken | SHARETHIS.addEntry({ […]

  17. Margaret Lion on March 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    This is great!! I must add it to my college course as computer history!

  18. 2D Goggles » Ada Lovelace Day! on March 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    […] a similar phenomenon seems to have been out to get me last week. As we all know last year’s Ada Lovelace Day post triggered a near-catastrophic disturbance in the space-time continuum resulting in the creation of […]

  19. […] Lovelace – The Origin – A web comic. […]

  20. […] you’re unfamiliar with Ada Lovelace, please check this out. OK, maybe I’ve chosen that because I love it so much, rather than its hundred percent […]

  21. […] You can find out more about Ada Lovelace Day here. A great video for children about Ada is here. An illustrated brief biography is here. […]

  22. […] a more informal depiction of the life of Lady Ada […]

  23. Sarah Hoopes on March 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you for this!! I’m presently writing a paper on dear Lovelace and was quite amused to stumble across this. Best from Portland, Sarah

  24. […] Ada Lovelace, born in 1815, is widely credited as the first computer programmer (even though the ‘computer’ she wrote a program for – Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine – was never actually built). She was taught mathematics as a girl to combat any poetical tendencies she might have inherited from her father, the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” Lord Byron! Unfortunately she died when she was only 36 so she never got a chance to develop her ideas further. However, she lives on (and, alongside Babbage, fights crime) over at the wonderful 2D Goggles. […]

  25. The Story | how to think about the future on March 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    […] There were some fascinating speeches and presentations, including  a remarkable discussion of neutrinos and gravitational entropy by John Spooner of Unlimited Theatre, and a rather ditsy  but nonetheless charming and illuminating talk about the process of writing and illustrating a comic from Sydney Padua, the brilliant artist behind Lovelace and Babbage – […]

  26. skippy on February 10, 2010 at 8:06 am

    i am both a licensed quantuum mechanic, and the holder of a poetic license (issued by a poetic justice), so i find your work doubly amusing.

    i came here via times online top science blogs list (via pharyngula).

    your work is so funny, i must twitter you to my friends.

    wait, this is a fan…

  27. […] Um bom ponto de partida para ler os quadrinhos é esta primeira história. […]

  28. […] blog dela é meio bagunçado, mas um bom ponto de partida para ler os quadrinhos é esta primeira história. Além do ótimo desenho, o quadrinho é bem divertido e dá pra ver que a autora entende do que […]

  29. […] Ada Lovelace– The Origin – A comic about Ada Lovelace. History as hero origin story. […]

  30. […] I rediscovered this delightful comic which apparently came as a result of the 24th of March […]

  31. […] a huge stir on the web recently with her brilliant series of strips imagining the adventures of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. As well as being a fantastic artist and witty writer, she also works across 2D and 3D for films […]

  32. Steam Dreams and Flying Machines | Trespass on November 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    […] of digital tech. For a summary of their exploits, both real and imagined, I highly recommend the 2D Goggles approach. Be aware that more of it is true than might seem […]

  33. Bob Berman on November 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Totally awesome! As a 1960’s programmer & mathematician I find this series as good as XKCD ( “A webcomic of romance,
    sarcasm, math, and language.” A must for college students. Superb.

  34. […], Jaymee Goh interviews Sydney Padua, creator of the Ada Lovelace webcomics at 2D Goggles. The comics are short, smart, and funny, so if you haven’t read them yet, stop […]

  35. […] I just discovered what may be the best webcomic ever, 2D Goggles. Check out the interview with author Sydney Padua at […]

  36. Tamora Pierce on October 18, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Oops! There are more! My fumble!

  37. Tamora Pierce on October 18, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Please, o most splendid and witty Sidney Padua, would you please please please do more adventures for the alternate universe Babbage and Lovelace? It would be so very woot!

    pointed here by aubergine_pilot from my lj

  38. […] curiosidades para encerrar: Sydney Paula escreveu e desenhou uma história em quadrinhos curta e fantástica para o Ada Lovelace…; o Ada Lovelace Day, claro; e The Difference Engine, um romance de história alternativa escrito […]

  39. […] October 12, 2009 · Leave a Comment Here’s a funny comics-version, from 2D goggles. Actually it is about mathematician Ada Byron Lovelace (1815 – 1852), but we […]

  40. La primera programadora- La Cajita Feliz on October 6, 2009 at 4:10 am

    […] de bajo licencia Creative Commons BY-NC […]

  41. […] if you’re not familiar with the stories of Charles Babbage & Ada Lovelace, here’s Padua’s version of the story. 0 people like this post. Like  Share and […]

  42. David Tannen on September 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    And a programming language was named after her,

  43. Trish Lewis on September 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Well, it took me awhile to get here, but I found it…Love the Babbage/Lovelace comic! And hey…*waves to Captain Red Llewellyn from Second Life* – nice to see a familiar face!! :)

  44. […] a response History geek that I am, I love this comic about Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. And of course, everything in it is entirely accurate and […]

  45. […] Start here, with Lovelace: The Origin. […]

  46. […] Start here, with Lovelace: The Origin. […]

  47. […] Padua has done the impossible: Created a programming comic which I like as much as XKCD. You can start at the beginning or read the latest, thrilling episode. She also did a special for the BBC. Navigation is a bit […]

  48. Michele on August 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Just awesome!!

  49. […] Il disegnatore, Sydney Padua, ne ha altre da raccontare, tra cui un’intera storia in onore di Ada Lovelace (ne avevamo parlato […]

  50. alberto d'ottavi on July 26, 2009 at 11:58 am

    looks like my wall “forever thank you” needs to be updated. can you send me a photo? :)

    it’s great!!!!!!