I am writing a computer science textbook and want to use an illustration showing a Turing machine. Images are all over web, but almost always without authorship/illustratorship credited. I need to attribute authorship (and perhaps also clear rights).

Does anybody know where the image reproduced below first appeared?

Alternative: Can anybody point me to a similar illustration of a Turing machine where authorship is known?

Image of Turing machine

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    $\begingroup$ Why not produce your own diagram? That way, you don't have to explain to your readers what a "memory dial" is. What on earth is a memory dial, anyway? And what does "?1" below it mean? $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2014 at 8:24

2 Answers 2


The figure appears to come from the paper "Games, Logic, and Computers" by Hao Wang, which appeared in Scientific American, Volume 213, Number 5, November 1965, pages 98-106. There is a copy online here:


In case you're wondering how I found it, I googled 'Turing machine "memory dial"'. None of my Turing machines have a memory dial, so I was hoping to learn where to buy one.


For your alternative question: try https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Turing_machines

(There are several images there that are similar to the one you show, and everything on Wikimedia Commons must be in some form of commercially-usable open license with known provenance.)


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