*Encyclopædia Britannica With New American Supplement*,
9th ed. (1898). *S.v.* "Babbage, Charles."

BABBAGE, CHARLES, a distinguished English mathematician and
mechanician, was born 20th December 1792, at Teignmouth in Devonshire.
He was educated at a private school, and afterwards entered Trinity
College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1814, hough he did not
compete in the mathematical tripos, be acquired a great reputation at
the university. In the year after he graduated, he contributed a paer
on the "Calculus of Functions" to the *Philosophical
Transactions*, and in 1816 he was made a fellow of the Royal
Society. Along with Herschel and Peacock he laboured to rasie the
standard of mathematical instruction in England, and specially
endeavoured to supersede the Newtonian by the Leibnitizian notation in
the Calculus. With this object the three friends translated, in 1816,
Lacroix's *Treatise on the Differential and Integral Calculus*,
and added, in 1820, two volumes of examples. Mr Babbage's attention
seems to have been very early drawn to the number and importance of
the errors introduced into astronomical and other calculations through
inaccuracies int he computation of tables. He contributed to the
Royal Society some notices on tre relation between notation and
mechanism; and in 1822, in a letter to Sir H. Davy on the applciation
of machinery to the calculation and printing of of mathematical
tables, he discussed the principles of a calculating machine, to the
construction of which he devoted many years of his life. Government
was induced to grant its aid, and the inventor himself spent a portion
of his private fortune in the prosecution of his undertaking. He
traveled through several of the countries of Europe, examining
different systems of machinery; and some of the results of his
investigations were published in the admirable little work, *Economy
of Machines and Manufactureres*, 1834, which Blanqui has called
"a hymn in honour of machinery." The great calculating
engine was never completed; the constructor apparently desired to
adopt a new prinviple when the first specimen was nearly complete, to
make it not a different by and analytical engine, and Government
declined to accept the further risk. From 1828 to 1839 Babbage held
the office of Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge. he
contributed largely to several scientific periodicals, and was
instrumental in founding the Astronomical and Statistical Societies.
He only once endeavoured to enter public life, when, in 1832, he stood
unsuccessfully for the borough of Finsbury. During the later years of
his life he resided in London, and, surrounded by his workshops, still
continued to devote himself to the construction of machines capable of
performing arithmetical and even algebraical calculations. He died at
London, 20th October 1871. He gives a few biographical details in his
*Passages from the Life of a Philosopher*, 1864, a work which
throws considerable light upon his somewhat peculiar character. His
works, pamphlets, and papers, were numerous; in the *Passages* he
enumerates eighty separate writings. Of these the most important,
besides the few already mentioned, are, *Tables of Logarithms*,
1826; *Comparative View of the Various Institutions for the
Assurance of Lives*, 1826; *Decline of Science in England*,
1830; *Ninth Bridgewater Treatise*, 1837; *The Exposition of
1851*, 1851.

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