Cam-plate and die from Babbage's Analytical Engine, 1834-1871.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This was the first fully-automatic calculating machine. The cam-plate has a gear segment for the carriage mechanisms. British computing pioneer Charles Babbage (1791-1871) first conceived the idea of an advanced calculating machine to calculate and print mathematical tables in 1812. This machine, conceived by Babbage in 1834, was designed to evaluate any mathematical formula and to have even higher powers of analysis than his original Difference Engine of the 1820s. His use of presure die-casting for quantity production of interchangeable parts is among the earliest documented use of this technique. Babbage is considered to be the 'father' of computing for his invention.