Jevons had been working on a "reasoning machine, or logical abacus" (Papers, 4.69) since 1865. The machine had piano-like keys for entering the terms of the logical elements and Jevons had it constructed by a Salford clock-maker (for a full description see Buck and Hunka, "W. Stanley Jevons, Allan Marquand, and the Origins of Digital Computing", Annals of the History of Computing, Vol.21, No.4, 1999, pp.21-27). Despite Jevons's fear that it might be laughed at it was in fact much admired when exhibited at the Royal Society in 1870 since it was able to solve logical problems with extraordinary, superhuman speed. The machine, one of the key precursors of the modern computer, is preserved at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science.
"...it will be evident that mechanism is capable of replacing for the most part the action of thought required in the performance of logical deduction..."
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