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ENIAC Computer

Widely considered to be the first electric, digital general-purpose computer, ENIAC was one of the most influential technological innovations of World War II. It took the collective imagination, innovation, and hard work of many teams of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and laborers before the Army could launch the ENIAC project. Today’s era of universal personal computing across military, industrial, corporate, and civilian endeavors is a direct result of their efforts.

  • An operator seated at the console of BRLESC-1, an ENIAC descendant that came online in 1962. BRLESC-1 solved Army ballistics and logistics problems at a rate of five million operations per second. Note the photo of the original ENIAC on the side of the console.

  • Human "computors" display the first four programming boards. From left to right: Patsy Simmers with ENIAC board; Gail Taylor with EDVAC board; Milly Beck with ORDVAC board; Norma Stec with BRLESC-1 board. Note the dramatic reduction in size and the transition from vacuum tubes to transistors.

  • This diagram shows the influence of ENIAC on computers and related technology in the three decades following its invention.