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Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage, FRS (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English polymath. He was a mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, who is best remembered now for originating the concept of a programmable computer.

Considered a "father of the computer", Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs. His varied work in other fields has led him to be described as "pre-eminent" among the many polymaths of his century.

Parts of Babbage's 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.