Commemorative Stamp for Alan Turing
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 03 January 2012

Alan Turing is included in the "Britons of Distinction" set of Royal Mail stamps that will be released in February 2012. But if you are looking for Turing's portrait on an envelope you will be disappointed.

 

My first reaction to the news that Alan Turing is one of the ten distinguished individuals chosen to figure on UK postage stamps in 2012 was positive. How fitting, I thought, that Turing should be honored in this way in his centenary year.

Then I went to look for the stamp itself - expecting to see one of the portraits that are becoming increasingly familiar.

But no. The image chosen for the stamp depicts the Bombe and it is only if you read the lettering that you will discover that the stamp commemorates Alan Turing. And as the Bombe isn't mentioned - and looks rather like an abacus at a casual glance - you'll need to make the connection for yourself.

 

Yes, the Bombe is of significant importance. It was the electromechanical device used by the World War II codebreakers at Bletchley Park to decipher the messaged encoded by Nazi Germany using Enigma machines.

And yes, it was Alan Turing who produced the initial design of the British Bombe used at Bletchley Park. But we remember Turing for so many achievements that choosing just one seems rather a backhanded compliment. Every time you read a headline something like "Alan Turing - gay codebreaker", then you can be sure that the point has been missed. Turing was gay and did help break codes but he did so much more. Equally to hear him described as the man responsible for the modern computer isn't realistic.

It would have been better to select a portrait of the man himself in Alan Turing Year.

 

Related news:

Alan Turing Year Starts Today

Bletchley Park awarded funds for historic restoration

HP to liberate Bletchley archive

 

To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Google+, Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Banner


Windows 9 Coming Soon
26/08/2014

At the moment what we know about Windows 9 is mostly rumor, but it is fairly reliable rumor. It seems that Microsoft has something to announce on September 30th and we can start to prepare for the cha [ ... ]



JavaOne Free to Students
26/08/2014

This year's JavaOne takes place in San Francisco from September 28 to October 2 and if you are a student you can attend if for free.


More News


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 January 2012 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2014 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.