Menabrea, Luigi Federico, Marquis of Valdora

STATESMAN, MATHEMATICIAN, ENGINEER, GENERAL (ITALY)
BORN 4 Sep 1809, Chambéry (France) - DIED 24 May 1896, St. Cassin (near Chambéry)
GRAVE LOCATION Chambéry, Savoie: Cimetière de Charrière-Neuve (ligne 10)

Menabrea studied engineering and became a doctor of mathematics at the University of Turin. He found employment as an engineer in the army, replacing Cavour at the fortress of Bardo in 1831. He moved on to become professor of mathematics in Turin. In 1840 Charles Babbage visited Turin and discussed his Analytical Engine with Menabrea. The latter published a paper 1842 in which he extended Babbage's ideas ("Notions sur la machine analytique de Charles Babbage"). At the request of Babbage, his paper was translated by Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, who added notes that were more extensive than the original paper.

By 1860 he had become a general and he conducted the siege of Gaeta. After this Menabrae pursued a political career and became minister of marine in 1861 before he succeeded Rattazzi as Premier in 1867. He resigned in 1869 after he lost his political majority in the Italian chamber.

In his political years he was still engaged in scienticifal research and he published on mechanics and elasticism. In 1875 he was made Marquis of Valdora and prime minister Lanza send him as ambassador to London to have him out of the way. He stayed in London until he replaced Cialdini in Paris in 1882. In 1892 he withdrew from public life.

Related persons
• knew Babbage, Charles
• has a connection with Byron, Augusta Ada, Lady Lovelace

Sources
Menabrea summary
The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia
• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des tombes d'hommes célèbres, Le Cherche Midi, Paris, 2003


Mendelssohn, Dorothea

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 26 Jun 2004