The French post office, La Poste, released a stamp featuring Ada Lovelace on Ada Lovelace Day. The stamp costs €1.65 and is for use on priority international letters. A full sheet comprises 15 stamps.
La Poste’s page says (translation thanks to Google):
Ada Lovelace 1815-1852
“The Analytical Engine will weave algebraic patterns as Jacquard looms weave flowers and leaves.” – Ada Lovelace, Note A, 1843
Ada King, née Byron, Countess Lovelace, was born on December 10, 1815 in London. At a very young age, she began to study mathematics. It rises to a sufficient level to appreciate the work of a talented inventor, Charles Babbage. He has just developed an automatic calculator. Ada bends over these complex cogs and an intuition comes to her: what if, instead of handling only numbers, this machine also deals with symbols? She puts her intuition to work: it will be the famous “Note G”, published in 1843, the first computer program in the world. Ada will never know she was awesome. She died at age 36, on November 27, 1852.
Almost a century later, an American physicist named Howard Aiken makes a machine from Babbage’s gears and Ada Lovelace’s notes: the Mark I. This one will have many descendants: computers. In 1978, the new computer language of the US Department of Defense was called Ada. Ada Lovelace finally ceases to be a footnote in her father’s biographies. Ada ardently defended the idea of “poetic science”. Fusing science and poetry within the same vision, she dreamed of a machine that would be able to speak previously unknown languages. She imagined IT, she pulled it out of nothing at a time when our modernity was barely waking up. His work, a fragile flower blooming within the mists of romanticism, rose like a sun over the second half of the 20th century and illuminates the third millennium. By shaping our future, Ada Lovelace marked our civilization as much as Pasteur, Einstein or Fleming. – Catherine Dufour
The stamp is issued on “Ada Lovelace day” Every year, on the 2nd Tuesday of October, this event celebrates innovative women in computing.