Thank you for stopping in to check out facts about Charles Babbage. However, before we get into some facts, let’s take a little look at his background.
Who was Charles Babbage?
Charles Babbage came into this world on December 26, 1791. He joined his parents, Benjamin Babbage and Betsy Plumleigh Teape at their home in London. He was one out of four children, and he grew up to become one of the greatest mathematicians in history. If you would like to know more about Charles Babbage, keep reading for our facts!
Interesting Facts about Charles Babbage
1. No one knows exactly where Charles Babbage was born.
While we know that Charles was born in London, no one is exactly sure where in London Charles was born. Some believe he was born in Southwark while others feel it was somewhere else around the London area.
2. He struggled with illness as a child.
As a child, Charles struggled with illness. At the age of 8, he was sent to a country school, so he could recover from a life-threatening fever. After this, he was sent back to school but was later educated by private tutors because Charles continued to struggle with illness.
3. He enjoyed math from an early age.
Charles Babbage’s father was a banker, so his parents had money to send Charles to the best schools they could. At these private schools, Charles would often be found in the libraries of the schools where he could find books about math. Charles enjoyed reading the math books that he found from the libraries and soon read every math book he could.
4. He started his own mathematical society.
When Charles started college at Cambridge’s Trinity College, he quickly realized that he found the mathematical courses boring because he had already learned everything they were teaching. Therefore, Charles decided to start his own mathematical society, which he called the Analytical Society. Established in 1812, this society looked deeper into the mathematics field.
5. He was a member of many other societies in college.
Not only was Charles a member of the Analytical Society, but he was also a member of a couple other societies while he studied at Cambridge Trinity College. One of these societies focused on ghost stories and the paranormal field and was called the Ghost Club. The other club Charles was a part of, the Extractors Club, focused on making sure that its members were not left in mental institutions if they were committed to one because of the work they were doing.
6. Charles Babbage was denied his diploma.
While he finished college at Cambridge’s Trinity College as an honor student, he never received his diploma. In order to graduate, Charles had to write a thesis. While he completed his thesis, the college felt that the thesis was blasphemous, and they refused to sign Charles’ diploma after he had completed such a thesis. Did you know this fact about Charles Babbage?
7. He founded an Astronomical Society in 1820.
Originally known as the Astronomical Society of London, the Royal Astronomical Society worked to establish a more standard form of astronomical calculations. They society also worked to circulate data. This society helped Charles win a gold medal for his work in astronomical calculations in 1824.
8. He had ad an idea called the difference machine.
While he was part of the Astronomical Society, Charles came up with an idea he called the difference machine. Charles believed that this machine would calculate the astronomical and mathematical tables through the turn of a crank. Charles received some money from the British government to work on the difference machine, but it proved to be more work than anyone thought, and it was never fully completed. In 1991, a working prototype of Charles’ difference machine was built from the plans that Charles left behind.
9. Charles Babbage is known as the “Father of the Computer.”
Because of much of his work with machines and mathematics, Charles has come to be called the “father of the computer.” Charles is credited with inventing the first machine which laid the groundwork for future computers called the mechanical computer. In fact, the basics of today’s computers are found in Charles’ analytical engine. This is probably one of the most well-known Charles Babbage facts.
10. He struggled financially for much of his life.
He never really had good luck in finding jobs, especially after Cambridge Trinity College refused to give him a diploma. Charles spent most of his time looking for jobs and trying to change his reputation so that people wanted to work with him. Because of this, Charles struggled financially until the death of his father in 1827. When Benjamin died, he left Charles part of his estate.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this article on facts about Charles Babbage. If you did, you should definitely visit historical figures to view interesting facts about other figures.