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Charles BabbageDied 18 Oct 1871 at age 79 (born 26 Dec 1791). English mathematician who was a pioneer of mechanical computation, which he pursued to eliminate inaccuracies in mathematical tables. By 1822, he had a small calculating machine able to compute squares. He produced prototypes of portions of a larger Difference Engine. (Georg and Edvard Schuetz later constructed the first working devices to the same design which were successful in limited applications.) In 1833 he began his programmable Analytical Machine, a forerunner of modern computers. His other inventions include the cowcatcher, dynamometer, standard railroad gauge, uniform postal rates, occulting lights for lighthouses, Greenwich time signals, heliograph opthalmoscope. He also had an interest in cyphers and lockpicking.«[EB gives birth date 26 Dec 1791.DSB gives birth date as 26 Dec 1792.] 