**When Was The First Computer Invented** – Computers have a long and complicated history and have been around longer than the Internet. In the past, computers were used to perform mathematical and logical operations that were difficult for humans to perform quickly. The use of these often large and bulky machines was generally limited to government and business, as computers were certainly not mainstream in the early days. Eventually, innovators saw how these machines could be used for many other tasks, and technology became more advanced over time, meaning computers took up less space. The small laptops and smartphones we use today are very different from the big computers of the past that required a whole dedicated room to use.

Many people have contributed to the creation and advancement of computer technology over the decades, but who built the first computer? The answer ultimately depends on your definition of a computer, because the first model is mechanical and works very differently from its digital counterpart. Although these versions are very primitive compared to modern technology, they laid the foundation for the basic functions that make us what we are today.

## When Was The First Computer Invented

The first mechanical computer was designed in 1838 by a man named Charles Babbage. He had previously received funding from the British government to build the Difference Engine, another early computer design, but due to money problems, it was never fully developed. After the machine failed, he built what he called the Analyzing Machine, which was far more advanced than his previous design.

### History Of Computers: A Brief Timeline

In theory, the machine would have four parts: a mill to complete the calculations, a storage for the recorded calculations, a function to read the punch card data, and a printer to print the calculation results. However, after previous failures, they had no way of getting funding for the project, and it seemed like it was almost too far ahead when it was replicated properly. Although Babbage was far ahead of his time, he laid the foundation for what a computer should look like.

The next great leap in computing is digital; It came from Iowa State College physics professor John Vincent Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry in 1942, Iowa State University professor Doug Jacobson explained in an article for The Conversation. The two named the Atanasoff–Berry Computer, also known as “ABC.” This computer uses electricity and capacitors and can complete calculations of up to 29 variables. The model can also perform a calculation in 15 seconds, quite slow by today’s standards, but faster than a human machine.

Atanasoff is also credited with the idea of using 1s and 0s as a way for computers to interpret and communicate data, an innovation that is still used today with modern computer systems. However, the ABC machine has some drawbacks, such as requiring the presence of an operator to perform a thorough calculation. The device is not perfect, but future innovations are increasing during construction.

In 1945, two professors at the University of Pennsylvania, John Mauchly and J.J. Presper Eckert patented what many believe to be the first true digital computer: Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). However, it turned out that they borrowed a lot of technology from ABC, and according to the UPN archive, the patent was later settled in court over the dispute.

### Who Invented Computers?

The two later left college to work on commercial computers that could be used by businesses or governments, which became the Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC). As noted in the second edition of the book “A History of Modern Computing” by Paul E. Ceruzzi, these computers were first used by the US Census Bureau, the US Air Force and the US Army in the 1950s. In the 1960s, UNIVAC was one of the other seven major computer companies, but it was the first to make the first commercially available computer. We can argue that the first computer was the abacus or its derivative, the slide rule, invented by William Outred in 1622. But many consider the English Mathematician Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine to be the first computer that resembles today’s modern machine.

Before Babbage, a “computer” was someone who sat around all day, adding and subtracting numbers and tabulating the results. These tables then began to appear in books so that others could use them to complete tasks, such as firing artillery shells or calculating taxes.

In fact, Babbage wrote that he was daydreaming about logarithmic tables while he was at Cambridge, around 1812-1813, when he first imagined that machines could do the work of human computers. In July 1822, Babbage wrote a letter to the Royal Society proposing the idea that machines could calculate based on “different methods”. The Royal Society funded the development of the idea and agreed. The first engine design to emerge from this effort was Babbage’s first differential engine.

It was actually the big numbers-running project that inspired Babbage in the first place. In 1792, the French government appointed Gaspard de Prony to oversee the construction of the cadastre, a set of logarithmic and trigonometric tables. The French wanted to standardize measurements in the country and used the table to aid in their efforts to convert to the metric system. De Prony, on the other hand, was inspired by Adam Smith’s famous work “The Wealth of Nations”. Smith wrote about how the division of labor improved the efficiency of pin production. De Prony wanted to use the division of labor in a mathematical project.

#### A Computer In The 1830s?

Unfortunately, when 18 volumes of tables – including others describing mathematical methods – were completed, they were never published.

In 1819, Babbage visited the City of Light and examined the unpublished manuscript with page after page of charts. If only, he thought, there was a way to produce these charts faster, with less labor and fewer errors. He thought of the many wonders wrought by the Industrial Revolution. If creative inventors and hard work could develop cotton gins and steam locomotives, why not machines for calculating?

Babbage returned to England and decided to build such a machine. His first insight is what is called a difference machine, which works according to the principle of difference, or performs complex mathematical calculations by repeated addition without using multiplication or division. He received £1,500 from the British government in 1823 and hired engineer Joseph Clement to begin construction of a different machine.

A respected engineer, Clement suggested improvements to Babbage, allowing Clement to implement some of his ideas. Unfortunately, in 1833, the two fell apart due to their rule. Clement stayed and completed his work on Different Machines.

## The First Notebook Style Computer

Invented by Charles Babbage in 1834, this Analytical Engine was designed to calculate mathematical formulas and had greater analytical capabilities than the original Difference Engine. This part of the factory was under construction when he died. sspl / Getty Images

While Clement was packing his equipment, Babbage was already thinking about a bigger idea – the Analytical Engine, a new type of mechanical computer that could perform more complex calculations, including multiplication and division. However, the British government cut off the funding, which was intended to produce a differential engine. The Analytical Engine is what many people think of as the first computer.

The basic components of the analyzer are the same as any computer component sold in the market today. It contains two features characteristic of modern machines: the central processing unit or processor and memory. Babbage, of course, did not use the term. He called the CPU “The Mill”. Memory is known as a “store”. They also have a device – a “reader” – a way to record the results of the machine, on paper, along with the input instructions. Babbage called this output device a printer, the forerunner of the inkjet and laser printers that are so common today.

Babbage’s new invention was almost entirely on paper. He kept a lot of notes and computer sketches – about 5,000 pages – and although he never built a production model of the Analytical Engine, he had a clear vision of how the machine would look and work. Borrowing the same technology used by the jacquard loom, a loom developed in 1804-05 that allowed the creation of various fabric patterns automatically, the data would be entered on a punch card. Up to 1,000 50-digit numbers can be stored in the computer’s memory. The punch card also contains instructions so that the machine can be executed in sequence. An assistant will supervise all operations, but steam will take over, turning the cranks, moving the cables and rods, and turning the gears.

#### Who Invented The Computer?

Unfortunately, current technology cannot fulfill Babbage’s ambitious design. In 1991, his special idea was translated into a working computer. it has