Charles Babbage, FRS (December 26, 1791 London, England – October 18, 1871 Marylebone, London, England) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991 a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage’s original plans. 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.
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