I'd always thought Landin's "Program Machine Symmetric Automata Theory" (Machine Intelligence 5) rather imaginative:
"Suppose a directed graph with coloured edges is drawn on a plane, and another one drawn on the surface of a sphere. Imagine the sphere rolling ... on the plane, but constrained in such a way that the point of contact follows ... both graphs ... synchronizing the vertices and matching the colours.
TIL that mid-XX fire control actually involved computations via rolling (albeit continuously) spheres on planes.
(to paraphrase Körner: that these have been obsoleted by digital systems probably says more about human technological than moral progress over the last several decades)