How was the first computer invented?
The word "computer" was first recorded as being used in 1613 and originally was used to describe a human who performed calculations or computations. The definition of a computer remained the same until the end of the 19th century, when the industrial revolution gave rise to machines whose primary purpose was calculating.
First mechanical computer engine
In 1822, Charles Babbage conceptualized and began developing the Difference Engine, considered to be the first automatic computing machine. The Difference Engine was capable of computing several sets of numbers and making hard copies of the results. Babbage received some help with development of the Difference Engine from Ada Lovelace, considered by many to be the first computer programmer for her work and notes on the Difference Engine. Unfortunately, because of funding, Babbage was never able to complete a full-scale functional version of this machine. In June 1991, the London Science Museum completed the Difference Engine No 2 for the bicentennial year of Babbage's birth and later completed the printing mechanism in 2000.
In 1837, Charles Babbage proposed the first general mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. The Analytical Engine contained an ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit), basic flow control, punch cards (inspired by the Jacquard Loom), and integrated memory. It is the first general-purpose computer concept. Unfortunately, because of funding issues, this computer was also never built while Charles Babbage was alive. In 1910, Henry Babbage, Charles Babbage's youngest son, was able to complete a portion of this machine and was able to perform basic calculations.