The First Programmer Was a Lady

Ada Lovelace at 17Over a hundred years before a monstrous array of vacuum tubes surged into history in an overheated room in Pennsylvania, a properly attired Victorian Gentleman demonstrated an elegant little mechanism of wood and brass in a London drawing room. One of the ladies attending this demonstration brought along the daughter of a friend. She was a teenager with long dark hair, a talent for mathematics, and a weakness for wagering on horse races. When she took a close look at the device and realized what this older gentleman was trying to do, she surprised them all by joining him in an enterprise that might have altered history, had they succeeded. — Howard Rheingold