Today in Media History: In 1946 the press introduced the 30-ton ENIAC computer

February 13, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

30 years before Steve Jobs introduced his first computer, there was a 30-ton computer named ENIAC.

In many ways ENIAC was one of the biggest computer stories of the 20th century.

According to the Computer Museum, “Late at night on February 13, 1946, the legend goes that the lights dimmed at the Moore School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, when the 18,000 vacuum tube ENIAC was completely turned on.”

Here is an early newsreel story about ENIAC:

This clipping comes from a syndicated Newspaper Enterprise Association story:

Image-NEA ENIAC story

“There are two epochs in computer history: Before ENIAC and After ENIAC. The first practical, all-electronic computer was unveiled on February 13, 1946 at the Univ. of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electronics. While there are controversies over who invented what, there is universal agreement that the ENIAC was the watershed project that showed electronic computing was possible. It was a masterpiece of electrical engineering, with unprecedented reliability and speed. And the two men most responsible for its success were J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly.”

— “From ENIAC to Everyone: Talking with J. Presper Eckert
Princeton Department of Computer Science and KurzweilAI.net

After ENIAC came another large computer called UNIVAC.

As we mentioned in an earlier “Today in Media History” story, a UNIVAC computer helped CBS News predict the winner of the 1952 presidential election.

The following video gives some additional background about ENIAC and the history of computers.

Facebook Comments