Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: December 18, 2014

April 20, 1951

MIT "Whirlwind" Computer Seen on Television

MIT demonstrates its Whirlwind machine on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now television series. Project director Jay Forrester describes the computer as a "reliable operating system," running 35 hours a week at 90-percent utility using an electrostatic tube memory that stores up to 2,048 16-digit words. The machine used 4,500 vacuum tubes and 14,800 diodes, taking up a total of 3,100 square feet.