Charles Babbage, English pioneer of machine computing, 1840.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Oil painting on card by Alexander Craig. Charles Babbage (1792-1871) was a computer pioneer, inventor, reformer, mathematician, philosopher and political economist. His 'Analytical Engine' of 1834 was the first calculating engine designed along modern lines, and it is for this that he is widely considered to be the 'father' of computing.