Experimental model of Babbage's Analytical Engine mill, 1834-1871.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This was the first fully-automatic calculating machine. 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. Only part of the machine was completed before Babbage's death in 1871. This portion of the mill was under construction at the time of his death. Babbage was also a reformer, mathematician, philosopher, inventor and political economist. He is considered to be the 'father' of computing for his invention.