Letters to Charles Babbage from the Duches of Somerset, mid 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Charles Babbage (1792-1871) was a British computing pioneer, mathematician, philosopher, inventor, social reformer 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 considered to be the 'father' of computing. The duches was a close friend and frequent dining companion of Babbage's.