clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buh-Bye, Barbie: Meet the Enchantress of Numbers

The first computer programmer -- in doll form -- coming soon as a role model for girls.

Miss Possible

Conjuring up a wonderful figure from computer history, two engineers are hoping to make an Ada Lovelace doll.

Their company, called Miss Possible, is currently raising money on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, with a goal of $75,000 ($67,000 has been raised as of this afternoon).

If the campaign makes it — and it certainly looks like it will — they’ll start mass-producing the 14-inch vinyl and nylon dolls. The founders, Supriya Hobbs, a recent engineering alumna, and Janna Eaves, an intern at SpaceX, also hope to make a lab-coat-clad doll version of scientist Marie Curie and one of adventure-ready aviator Bessie Coleman. They’ll let people vote on the fourth. (Sheryl! Sheryl!)

Miss Possible is one of several recent crowdfunding efforts to get young women into science and math through motivational toys, the most famous example so far being girl-centric building tools GoldieBlox.

So, who was Ada Lovelace? Often called “The Enchantress of Numbers,” Lovelace, born in 1815, was the first computer programmer.

The imaginative, clear notes she wrote to go along with her husband, inventor Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine (an early model for a computer), were the first description of software.

And Lovelace started learning about engineering at a very young age, thanks to her parents, the poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Milbanke, whom Byron called “the Princess of Parallelograms.”

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.