top of page
  • Steven Erquiza

Who Invented The Computer?

Early computers were actually people. The word dates back to 1613. The term "Computer" describes people who performed complex calculations; they were mathematicians and bookkeepers. The first time the word "Computer" was used to describe a machine was in 1897.

Charles Babbage was born on December 26, 1791, in London, England. He was an English mathematician and inventor who is credited with having conceived the first automatic digital computer. Babbage is considered the inventor and the father of computing because of his vision. He created mathematical calculations and ideas. Still, he wasn't able to build the actual technology.

The idea of a calculator, or like one, first came to Babbage in 1812 or 1813. Then Later, he made a small calculator that could do certain mathematical computations to eight decimals. Then in 1823, he obtained government support for the design of a projected machine. Based on the principle of finite differences, the Difference Engine performed complex mathematical calculations employing a simple series of additions and subtractions, avoiding multiplications and divisions. He even created a small calculator that proved that his method worked. Still, he was not able to build a differential engine.

After this failure, he was not dismayed. He moved on to another project called the Analytical Engine. Which was much more ambitious since it would be capable of performing even more complex calculations by computing multiplications and divisions. But again, Babbage wasn't able to get past the design stage. Still, those designs he began in 1837 made him, perhaps not the father of computing but definitely made the base of the idea for the computer.

On October 18, 1871, in London, Charles Babbage died. A year after his death, physicist William Thomson invented a machine that can perform complex calculations and predicting tide in a given place. It is considered the first analogue computer. Then after his brother, James Thomson, built the Differential analyzer in 1876. The more advanced and complete version managed to solve differential equations by integration, using a wheel and disc mechanisms.

It took several more decades until the 20th century when H.L. Hazen and Vannevar Bush materialized the idea of the mechanical analogue computer at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Between 1928 and 1931, they built a differential analyzer that was functional since it could be used to solve different problems. Because of this accomplishment, it could be considered the first computer.


More Posts

bottom of page