Forthcoming title - The Power of 3
Pamela Vass with additional material by David Hogan and Mark Glusker
..Fowler’s calculator was in certain respects vastly more promising than Babbage’s.”
Doron Swade MBE, previously Assistant Director and Head of Collections at the Science Museum, London
“...Computers might have changed history and our world almost a century sooner had the ideas of Fowler been understood and adopted by Babbage.”
Ralph Merkle, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, California and co-inventor of public key cryptography.
A passion for real life mysteries launched Pamela Vass on a quest to piece together the intriguing story of one man’s fight for recognition. The man was Thomas Fowler, an unknown Devon mathematician and inventor. His claim to fame - the invention of a unique calculating machine.
Charles Babbage, a contemporary of Fowler, is commonly referred to as ‘the father of computing’ for the principles he employed in his innovative calculating device. Thomas Fowler’s invention was equally, if not more, significant and might have changed the course of history had he not been thwarted at every turn.
This absorbing account tells the story of Fowler’s struggle to gain recognition for his ground-breaking work. His application of ternary mathematics was inspired. But the academic establishment, and a deep-seated fear that others would take credit for his invention, conspired against him. His pioneering work was consigned to oblivion, buried in archives across the country... until now.
More than a century and a half after Fowler’s death, an international project team is working to reconstruct Fowler’s invention and fulfil his dying wish. “...my greatest wish was to have had a thorough investigation of the whole principle of the Machine and its details as far as I could then explain them, in a way very different from a popular exhibition - this investigation I hope it will still have by some first rate Man of Science before it be laid aside or adopted.” Thomas Fowler, 1841.
Readers may choose to immerse themselves in the poignant story of the man or the power of the mathematics - or both. Source material is included to enable those with an eye for a challenge to see if they agree with the reconstruction as visualised by the team.