20 May 2012

South London Hall of Fame: Charles Babbage


Born in Newington on December 26th 1791, Charles Babbage is best known for his designs for a 'Difference Engine' which was a mechanical device for performing calculations and an 'Analytical Engine' which was a programmable machine that could solve complex mathematical problems.
While neither were constructed in his lifetime the theoretical basis for these machines formed the concepts on which modern computing was founded.


In 1991 a functioning Difference Engine was built based on Babbage's design using methods and materials available in the 19th Century, proving that the idea itself was feasible and that a lack of funding and support was the reason that the device was never constructed in Babbage's lifetime.


                                                               The Difference Engine

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