Ten fun facts about Charles Babbage


Fact 1
He was a mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, who is best remembered now for originating the concept of a programmable computer.

Fact 2
Considered a “father of the computer”, Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.

Fact 3
His varied work in other fields has led him to be described as “pre-eminent” among the many polymaths of his century.


Fact 4
Parts of Babbage's uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum.

Fact 5
In 1991, a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans.

Fact 6
Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked.

Fact 7
Babbage, John Herschel, George Peacock, and several other friends formed the Analytical Society in 1812.

Fact 8
As a student, Babbage was also a member of other societies such as The Ghost Club, concerned with investigating supernatural phenomena, and the Extractors Club, dedicated to liberating its members from the madhouse, should any be committed to one.

Fact 9
He lectured to the Royal Institution on astronomy in 1815, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1816.

Fact 10
Babbage was instrumental in founding the Astronomical Society in 1820.


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was an English polymath

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