Sketch by Henri Claudet, 1860s 
|Born||26 December 1791|
|Died||18 October 1871 (aged 79)|
Marylebone, London, England
|Fields||Mathematics, analytic philosophy, computer science|
|Institutions||Trinity College, Cambridge|
Charles Babbage, FRS (26 December 1791 London, England – 18 October 1871 Marylebone, London, England) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Events 1481 - Battle of Westbrook - Holland defeats troops of Utrecht. Year 1791 ( MDCCXCI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Events 1009 - The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, is completely destroyed by the Fatimid Year 1871 ( MDCCCLXXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Marylebone (sometimes written St Marylebone or Mary-le-bone, or in archaic use Marybone) is an area of central London, England in London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the Science of the theoretical foundations of Information and Computation and their Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, known simply as The Royal Society, is a Learned society for science that was founded in 1660 Events 1481 - Battle of Westbrook - Holland defeats troops of Utrecht. Year 1791 ( MDCCXCI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Events 1009 - The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, is completely destroyed by the Fatimid Year 1871 ( MDCCCLXXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Marylebone (sometimes written St Marylebone or Mary-le-bone, or in archaic use Marybone) is an area of central London, England in London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of Mathematics. Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language An inventor is a person who creates or discovers a new method form device or other useful means Mechanical Engineering is an Engineering discipline that involves the application of principles of physics for analysis Design, Manufacturing A computer is a Machine that manipulates data according to a list of instructions. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. For science museums in general check out Science museum. The Science Museum on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London is part In 1991 a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans. The Difference Engine was an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked. Nine years later, the Science Museum completed the printer Babbage had designed for the difference engine, an astonishingly complex device for the 19th century. Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.
The birthplace of Charles Babbage is disputed, but he was most likely born in 44 Crosby Row, Walworth Road, London, England. The A215 is an A road in South London. It runs from Elephant and Castle to Shirley. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland A blue plaque on the junction of Larcom Street and Walworth Road commemorates the event. In the United Kingdom, a blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event
Babbage's date of birth was given in his obituary in The Times as 26 December 1792. Events 1481 - Battle of Westbrook - Holland defeats troops of Utrecht. Year 1792 ( MDCCXCII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year However, after the obituary appeared, a nephew wrote to say that Charles Babbage actually was born one year earlier, in 1791. The parish register of St. Mary's Newington, London, shows that Babbage was baptized on 6 January 1792, supporting a birth year of 1791. A parish register is a book normally kept in a Parish church, in which details of Baptisms Marriages and Burials are recorded Newington is the name of several places districts and a school In Christianity, baptism ( Greek, "immersing" "performing Ablutions " is the ritual act with the use of water by which one is admitted Events 1066 - Harold Godwinson is crowned King of England. 1205 - Philip of Swabia becomes King Year 1792 ( MDCCXCII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year 
Charles's father, Benjamin Babbage, was a banking partner of the Praeds who owned the Bitton Estate in Teignmouth. Teignmouth (ˈtɪnməθ is a Town in Devon, England, situated on the north bank of the estuary mouth of the River Teign. His mother was Betsy Plumleigh Teape. In 1808, the Babbage family moved into the old Rowdens house in East Teignmouth, and Benjamin Babbage became a warden of the nearby St. Teignmouth (ˈtɪnməθ is a Town in Devon, England, situated on the north bank of the estuary mouth of the River Teign. Michael’s Church.
His father's money allowed Charles to receive instruction from several schools and tutors during the course of his elementary education. Around the age of eight he was sent to a country school in Alphington near Exeter to recover from a life-threatening fever. Alphington is a village in the southwest of Exeter in southwest England. Exeter ( (IPA ˈeksɪtər is a city, district and County town of Devon, England. His parents ordered that his "brain was not to be taxed too much" and Babbage felt that "this great idleness may have led to some of my childish reasonings. " For a short time he attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Totnes, South Devon, but his health forced him back to private tutors for a time. King Edward's School or King Edward VI School is the name of several schools the majority of them founded during the reign of King Edward VI. Totnes (ˈtɒtnɨs or /tɒtˈnɛs/ is a market town at the head of the estuary of the River Dart in Devon, England within the South Devon Area Devon is a large county in the South West of England. The county is also referred to as Devonshire, but that is an entirely unofficial name  He then joined a 30-student Holmwood academy, in Baker Street, Enfield, Middlesex under Reverend Stephen Freeman. The academy had a well-stocked library that prompted Babbage's love of mathematics. He studied with two more private tutors after leaving the academy. Of the first, a clergyman near Cambridge, Babbage said, "I fear I did not derive from it all the advantages that I might have done. The city of Cambridge (ˈkeɪmbrɪdʒ is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England " The second was an Oxford tutor from whom Babbage learned enough of the Classics to be accepted to Cambridge.
Babbage arrived at Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1810. Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. Year 1810 ( MDCCCX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year He had read extensively in Leibniz, Joseph Louis Lagrange, Thomas Simpson, and Lacroix and was seriously disappointed in the mathematical instruction available at Cambridge. Thomas Simpson ( August 20, 1710 &ndash May 14, 1761) was a British Mathematician, Inventor and Eponym In response, he, John Herschel, George Peacock, and several other friends formed the Analytical Society in 1812. Sir John Frederick William Herschel 1st Baronet KH, FRS ( March 7, 1792 &ndash May 11, 1871)was an George Peacock ( April 9, 1791 – November 8, 1858) was an English Mathematician. The Analytical Society was a group of individuals in early-19th century Britain whose aim was to promote the use of Leibnizian or analytical calculus as opposed to Babbage, Herschel and Peacock were also close friends with future judge and patron of science Edward Ryan. Sir Edward Ryan PC FRS ( 28 August 1793 – 22 August 1875) was an English Lawyer, Judge Ultimately, Babbage and Ryan married sisters. 
In 1812 Babbage transferred to Peterhouse, Cambridge. Peterhouse is the oldest college in the University of Cambridge. He was the top mathematician at Peterhouse, but failed to graduate with honors. He instead received an honorary degree without examination in 1814.
On July 25, 1814, Babbage married Georgiana Whitmore at St. Kensal Green Cemetery is a burial ground located in Kensal Green, London, England. Events 285 - Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler Year 1814 ( MDCCCXIV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Michael's Church in Teignmouth, Devon. The couple lived at Dudmaston Hall, Shropshire (where Babbage engineered the central heating system), before moving to 5 Devonshire Street, Portland Place, London. Dudmaston Hall is a 17th century Country house in the care of the National Trust in the Severn Valley, Shropshire, England
Charles and Georgiana had eight children, but only three — Benjamin Herschel, Georgiana Whitmore, and Henry Prevost — survived to adulthood. Georgiana died in Worcester on September 1, 1827. Worcester (ˈwʊstə is a city and County town of Worcestershire, in the West Midlands of England. Charles' father, wife, and at least two sons all died in 1827. These deaths caused Babbage to go into a mental breakdown which delayed the construction of his machines.
His youngest son, Henry Prevost Babbage (1824-1918), went on to create six working analytical engines based on his father's designs, one of which was sent to Howard H. Aiken, pioneer of the Harvard Mark I. Howard Hathaway Aiken ( March 8, 1900 – March 14 1973) was a pioneer in Computing, being the primary engineer behind IBM The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator ( ASCC) called the Mark I by Harvard University, was the first large-scale automatic digital Henry Prevost's 1910 Analytical Engine Mill, previously on display at Dudmaston Hall, is now on display at the Science Museum. Dudmaston Hall is a 17th century Country house in the care of the National Trust in the Severn Valley, Shropshire, England For science museums in general check out Science museum. The Science Museum on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London is part
Charles Babbage died at age 79 on October 18, 1871, and was buried in London's Kensal Green Cemetery. Kensal Green Cemetery is a burial ground located in Kensal Green, London, England. According to Horsley, Babbage died "of renal inadequacy, secondary to cystitis. " In 1983 the autopsy report for Charles Babbage was discovered and later published by one of his descendants.  A copy of the original is also available.  Babbage's brain is preserved at the Science Museum in London. 
Babbage sought a method by which mathematical tables could be calculated mechanically, removing the high rate of human error. Three different factors seem to have influenced him: a dislike of untidiness; his experience working on logarithmic tables; and existing work on calculating machines carried out by Wilhelm Schickard, Blaise Pascal, and Gottfried Leibniz. In Mathematics, the logarithm of a number to a given base is the power or Exponent to which the base must be raised in order to produce Wilhelm Schickard ( April 22 1592 &ndash October 24 1635) was a German Polymath who built one of the first Calculating machines Blaise Pascal (blɛz paskal (June 19 1623 &ndash August 19 1662 was a French Mathematician, Physicist, and religious Philosopher He first discussed the principles of a calculating engine in a letter to Sir Humphry Davy in 1822. Sir Humphry Davy 1st Baronet FRS MRIA (17 December 1778 &ndash 29 May 1829 was a British Chemist and inventor
Babbage's engines were among the first mechanical computers, although they were not actually completed, largely because of funding problems and personality issues. He directed the building of some steam-powered machines that achieved some success, suggesting that calculations could be mechanized. Although Babbage's machines were mechanical and unwieldy, their basic architecture was very similar to a modern computer. The data and program memory were separated, operation was instruction based, the control unit could make conditional jumps and the machine had a separate I/O unit. In Computing, input/output, or I/O, refers to the communication between an Information processing system (such as a Computer) and the outside
In Babbage’s time numerical tables were calculated by humans who were called ‘computers,’ meaning "one who computes," much as a conductor is "one who conducts. The Difference Engine was an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions. " At Cambridge he saw the high error rate of this human-driven process and started his life’s work of trying to calculate the tables mechanically. He began in 1822 with what he called the difference engine, made to compute values of polynomial functions. Unlike similar efforts of the time, Babbage's difference engine was created to calculate a series of values automatically. By using the method of finite differences, it was possible to avoid the need for multiplication and division. A finite difference is a mathematical expression of the form f ( x + b) &minus f ( x + a)
The first difference engine was composed of around 25,000 parts, weighed fifteen tons (13,600 kg), and stood 8 ft (2. The short ton ( S/T) is a unit of mass equal to 2000 lb (around 907 4 m) high. Although he received ample funding for the project, it was never completed. He later designed an improved version, "Difference Engine No. 2", which was not constructed until 1989-1991, using Babbage's plans and 19th-century manufacturing tolerances. It performed its first calculation at the London Science Museum returning results to 31 digits, far more than the average modern pocket calculator.
Two full-scale modern replicas of the Difference Engine have been constructed by the London Science Museum. One is owned by the museum and the other, owned by technology millionaire Nathan Myhrvold, went on exhibit at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California on 10 May 2008. Nathan Myhrvold (born 1959 in Seattle Washington) formerly Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, is co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, which The Computer History Museum is a Museum established in 1996 in Mountain View California, when The Computer Museum (TCM in Boston) Events 1291 - Scottish Nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common It will remain there until April 2009, when it will be placed in Myhrvold's personal collection. 
Soon after the attempt at making the difference engine crumbled, Babbage started designing a different, more complex machine called the Analytical Engine. The analytical engine, an important step in the History of computers, was the design of a mechanical general-purpose Computer by the British mathematician Charles The analytical engine, an important step in the History of computers, was the design of a mechanical general-purpose Computer by the British mathematician Charles The engine is not a single physical machine but a succession of designs that he tinkered with until his death in 1871. The main difference between the two engines is that the Analytical Engine could be programmed using punch cards, an idea unheard of in his time. He realized that programs could be put on similar cards so the person had only to create the program initially, and then put the cards in the machine and let it run. The analytical engine was also proposed to use loops of Jacquard's punched cards to control a mechanical calculator, which could formulate results based on the results of preceding computations. The Jacquard Loom is a mechanical Loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, that has holes punched in pasteboard each row of which corresponds to This machine was also intended to employ several features subsequently used in modern computers, including sequential control, branching, and looping, and would have been the first mechanical device to be Turing-complete. In computability theory, several closely-related terms are used to describe the "computational power" of a computational system (such as an Abstract machine or
Ada Lovelace, an impressive mathematician and one of the few people who fully understood Babbage's ideas, created a program for the Analytical Engine. Augusta Ada King Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 London England &ndash 27 November 1852 Marylebone, London England born Augusta Ada Byron, was the only Had the Analytical Engine ever actually been built, her program would have been able to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers. In Mathematics, the Bernoulli numbers are a Sequence of Rational numbers with deep connections to Number theory. Based on this work, Lovelace is now widely credited with being the first computer programmer. A programmer is someone who writes Computer software. The term computer programmer can refer to a specialist in one area of computer programming or to a generalist  In 1979, a contemporary programming language was named Ada in her honour. Ada is a structured, Statically typed, imperative, and object-oriented high-level computer Programming language Shortly afterward, in 1981, a satirical article by Tony Karp in the magazine Datamation described the Babbage programming language as the "language of the future". 
While the abacus and mechanical calculator have been replaced by electronic calculators using microchips, the recent advances in MEMS and nanotechnology have led to recent high-tech experiments in mechanical computation. Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside Microelectromechanical systems ( MEMS) is the technology of the very small and merges at the nano-scale into Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS and Nanotechnology Nanotechnology, sometimes shortened to nanotech, refers to a field of Applied science whose theme is the control of matter on an Atomic and Molecular The benefits suggested include operation in high radiation or high temperature environments.
These modern versions of mechanical computation were highlighted in the magazine The Economist in its special "end of the millennium" black cover issue in an article entitled Babbage's Last Laugh . The Economist is an English-language weekly news and International affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd and edited in London The article highlighted work done at University of California Berkeley by Ezekiel Kruglick. The University of California Berkeley (also referred to as Cal, Berkeley and UC Berkeley) is a major research university located in Berkeley In this Doctoral Dissertationthe researcher reports mechanical logic cells and architectures sufficient to implement the Babbage Analytical engine (see above) or any general logic circuit. Carry-shift digital adders and various logic elements are detailed as well as modern analysis on required performance for microscopic mechanical logic.
In 1824, Babbage won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society "for his invention of an engine for calculating mathematical and astronomical tables. The Gold Medal is the highest award of the Royal Astronomical Society. "
From 1828 to 1839 Babbage was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. The incumbent of the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, the Lucasian Professor is the holder of a mathematical Professorship at the University of Cambridge He contributed largely to several scientific periodicals, and was instrumental in founding the Astronomical Society in 1820 and the Statistical Society in 1834. However, he dreamt of designing mechanical calculating machines.
“. . . I was sitting in the rooms of the Analytical Society, at Cambridge, my head leaning forward on the table in a kind of dreamy mood, with a table of logarithms lying open before me. Another member, coming into the room, and seeing me half asleep, called out, "Well, Babbage, what are you dreaming about?" to which I replied "I am thinking that all these tables" (pointing to the logarithms) "might be calculated by machinery. "
In 1837, responding to the Bridgewater Treatises, of which there were eight, he published his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, "On the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation", putting forward the thesis that God had the omnipotence and foresight to create as a divine legislator, making laws (or programs) which then produced species at the appropriate times, rather than continually interfering with ad hoc miracles each time a new species was required. Natural theology is a branch of Theology based on Reason and ordinary Experience, explaining the gods rationally as part of the physical world Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means "for this [ Purpose ]" The book is a work of natural theology, and incorporates extracts from correspondence he had been having with John Herschel on the subject. Natural theology is a branch of Theology based on Reason and ordinary Experience, explaining the gods rationally as part of the physical world Sir John Frederick William Herschel 1st Baronet KH, FRS ( March 7, 1792 &ndash May 11, 1871)was an
Babbage also achieved notable results in cryptography. Cryptography (or cryptology; from Greek grc κρυπτός kryptos, "hidden secret" and grc γράφω gráphō, "I write" He broke Vigenère's autokey cipher as well as the much weaker cipher that is called Vigenère cipher today. An autokey cipher (also known as the autoclave cipher) is a Cipher which incorporates the message (the Plaintext) into the key. The Vigenère cipher is a method of encrypting Alphabetic text by using a series of different Caesar ciphers based on the letters of a keyword The autokey cipher was generally called "the undecipherable cipher", though owing to popular confusion, many thought that the weaker polyalphabetic cipher was the "undecipherable" one. Babbage's discovery was used to aid English military campaigns, and was not published until several years later; as a result credit for the development was instead given to Friedrich Kasiski, a Prussian infantry officer, who made the same discovery some years after Babbage. Major Friedrich Wilhelm Kasiski (29 November 1805&ndash22 May 1881 was a Prussian Infantry officer, Cryptographer and Archeologist 
In 1838, Babbage invented the pilot (also called a cow-catcher), the metal frame attached to the front of locomotives that clears the tracks of obstacles. In Railroading the pilot is the device mounted at the front of a locomotive to deflect obstacles from the track that might otherwise derail the train He also constructed a dynamometer car and performed several studies on Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway in about 1838. A dynamometer car is a Railroad Maintenance of way car used for measuring various aspects of a Locomotive 's performance Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS (9 April 1806 &ndash 15 September 1859 (ˈɪzəmbɑrd ˈkɪŋdəm brʊˈnɛl was a British Engineer. The Great Western Railway ( GWR) was a British railway company and a notable example of Civil engineering, linking London with the West Babbage's eldest son, Benjamin Herschel Babbage, worked as an engineer for Brunel on the railways before emigrating to Australia in the 1850s
Babbage also invented an ophthalmoscope, but although he gave it to a physician for testing it was forgotten, and the device only came into use after being independently invented by Hermann von Helmholtz. The ophthalmoscope (or funduscope) is an instrument used to examine the Eye. 
Babbage twice stood for Parliament as a candidate for the borough of Finsbury. Finsbury is a small district in the south of the London Borough of Islington and north of the City of London. In 1832 he came in third among five candidates, but in 1834 he finished last among four. 
In On the Economy of Machine and Manufacture, Babbage described what is now called the Babbage principle, which describes certain advantages with division of labour. Babbage noted that highly skilled - and thus generally highly paid - workers spend parts of their job performing tasks that are 'below' their skill level. If the labour process can be divided among several workers, it is possible to assign only high-skill tasks to high-skill and -cost workers and leave other working tasks to less-skilled and paid workers, thereby cutting labour costs. This principle was criticised by Karl Marx who argued that it caused labour segregation and contributed to alienation. In Sociology and Critical social theory, alienation refers to an individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general The Babbage principle is an inherent assumption in Frederick Winslow Taylor's scientific management. Frederick Winslow Taylor ( 20 March 1856 &ndash 21 March 1915) widely known as F
|“||On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. ||”|
Babbage has been commemorated by a number of references, as shown on this list. In particular, the Babbage crater, on the Moon, and the Charles Babbage Institute, an information technology archive and research center, were named after him. Babbage is an ancient lunar crater that is located near the northwest limb of the Moon, named after Charles Babbage. The Charles Babbage Institute (also titled the Center for the History of Information Technology) is a research center at the University of Minnesota specializing The large Babbage lecture theatre at Cambridge University, used for undergraduate science lectures, commemorates his time at the university. The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University) located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the