Vacuum Tubes Past History: January 1, 1946. Largest Electronic Machine in the World

Vacuum Tubes Past History

January 1, 1946

Largest Electronic Machine in the World

On this date, physicist John William Mauchly and electronics engineers John Adam Presper Eckert Jr. and Arthur Walter Burks finished the Electronic Numerical Integrator machine at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania. The machine contained almost 20,000 vacuum tubes, and was based on The Use of High Speed Vacuum Tube Devices for Calculating, authored by Mauchly. Over several years, the machine’s name evolved to the Electronic Numerical Integrator, then to Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer, then to the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator, and finally to Electronic Numerical Integrator and Automatic Calculator (ENIAC). Later, the word ‘Computer’ was substituted for ‘Calculator’.

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