Modern computationalism unites two distinct ideas: the first that reasoning, more generally mental activity, may be decomposed into simple, formal steps; the second that these simple steps may be functionally realized by a physical system. These two ideas follow separate trajectories in the pre-history of the computational mind. This chapter surveys the mechanization of psychological phenomena, the conceptualization of thought as computation, and the circumscription of the powers of computation after the introduction of punch card memory. Descartes is often demonized in contemporary philosophy of mind for his dualism, which draws a sharp ontological distinction between body and "soul", or mind. Descartes' argument that mere mechanisms cannot generate novel behavior was founded in his intuitive understanding of the limits of material interaction. In contrast, Ada Lovelace's argument is founded in her own intimate experience writing "programs" for the first general-purpose computer.