The "Automatic Calculator."
Americans of the 1950s witnessed the dawn of the information age. During the decade the computer developed from its earliest models—hundreds of square feet of flashing neon bulbs, dials, cables, and clicking switches—to relatively small units that were widely affordable by the academic and business communities. In 1950 there were twenty computers in the United States, with a total worth of one million dollars. No two of these machines were the same; they were all refinements of the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first real computer, which had been developed by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania for the government during World War II. The "automatic calculator," which weighed thirty tons and occupied eighteen hundred square feet, was first demonstrated to the public in 1946.
As the first electronic machine that could solve...
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