This instructional video from 1953 explains the basic mechanisms that combine to form contemporary mechanical computers (in this case, naval firing computers.) The narration and examples are clear and accessible to the mechanical novice, who should start at the beginning. If you already know about cams and differentials, watch the first few minutes to see the footage of men operating the computers, then skip to the second half.
1950s Naval Firing ComputersMaxwell Joslyn
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