Note on the application of machinery to the computation of very big mathematical tables.
The mechanical machine he proposed is called a difference engine and could be used to compute mathematical tables (for instance logarithmic tables – if you are old enough to remember such things). In the days preceding computers accurate tables were important in many scientific/technological disciplines. They were calculated by hand and often had errors.
The Science Museum in London has a replica of the Difference Engine.
This machine is one of the forerunners of the modern computer.
As such Charles Babbage is regarded as one of the creators of ideas that are fundamental to the principles of computing.