Charles Babbage

26 December 1791 - 18 October 1871

Charles Babbage was an 18th Century polymath, in the true tradition of the word. His interests and activities included: invention, reform, mathematics, philosophy, science, politics and writing. He was one of those men whose greatness was really only recognised long after his life had ceased.

image of Charles Babbage

Although technically questionable in terms of modern computing, his contribution to the theory of 'machines making light work of the drudgery of laborious and extensive calculations', earned him the accolade, the 'father' or 'grandfather' of modern computing.

It was his attempts, through his various calculating machines or the Analytical Engines and Difference Engines which he designed which paved the way theoretically to calculate a result through extensive repetition of a single process.

The sort of calculation methods applied in modern computers, able to perform billions of 'iterations' extremely fast.

image of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine number 2 as built by the Science Museum

Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 was built to his original designs at the Science Museum in London and completed in 1991 as part of a celebration for the bicentenary of his birth.

It consists of 4,000 parts and weighs over three tons.

It is made of bronze, steel and cast iron.

It has seven orders of difference and calculates to thirty figures. The machine is operated by a crank handle. The printing machine, would print the results to the left of the engine itself.

close up image of Babbage's Difference Engine

The igeek difference

Our spoof model box takes three concepts to illustrate our ethos.

image of the igeek model box of Babbage's Difference Engine - The igeek difference!

...making light work of the drudgery of laborious and extensive calculations

Babbage's idea that implementing task-specific technology, and in our case, software, can save time and manpower within business and free-up personnel to perform other tasks or, to spend that time doing the things they enjoy - like building scale models perhaps?