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Charles Babbage's steam powered computer weighed fifteen tons

The Difference Engine No.2, built from Babbage's design

Charles Babbage began in 1822 with what he called the difference engine, made to compute values of polynomial functions. This first difference engine would have been composed of around 25,000 parts, weighed fifteen tons (13,600 kg), and would have been 8 ft (2.4 m) tall. Although Babbage received ample funding for the project, it was never completed. He later (1847–1849) produced detailed drawings for an improved version,"Difference Engine No. 2", but did not receive funding from the British government. His design was finally constructed in 1989–1991, using his plans and 19th-century manufacturing tolerances. It performed its first calculation at the Science Museum, London, returning results to 31 digits.

Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer. Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer and is considered to be the "father of the computer".

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