Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage, FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

(26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English
Englishman may refer to:*English people*Grey Partridge*Jason Englishman, Canadian rock music singer and guitarist*Jenny-Bea Englishman, real name of the Canadien singer Esthero*Erald Briscoe, reggae musician who records under the name Englishman...

 mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated 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.
Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum.

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 (1864), Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, ch. 5 "Difference Engine No. 1"

The whole of arithmetic now appeared within the grasp of mechanism.

Babbage (1864) Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, ch. 8 "Of the Analytical Engine"

As soon as an Analytical Engine exists, it will necessarily guide the future course of the science. Whenever any result is sought by its aid, the question will then arise — by what course of calculation can these results be arrived at by the machine in the shortest time?

Babbage (1864) Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, ch. 8 "Of the Analytical Engine"