Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: April 24, 2014
Brown lecturing at MIT ca. 1949

August 30, 1907

Computer pioneers Mauchly and Brown are born

John Mauchly, the co-developer (with J. Presper Eckert) of the ENIAC computer did extensive early computer work at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School. ENIAC, unveiled in 1946, led to many further developments in the field, in some instances because ENIAC demonstrated what would not work as well as what would

Gordon Brown founded the Servomechanisms Laboratory at MIT, which pioneered the development of feedback-control theory, computer technology, and automatic control of machine tools and had many famous graduate students who went on to become major contributors in the fields of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

August 30, 1907

John Mauchly Born

This date marks the birth of John Mauchly who, with J. Presper Eckert built the ENIAC, the first large-scale, electronic calculator. Mauchly received his Ph.D. in physics at Johns Hopkins University and took a position teaching physics at Ursinus College. Because his meteorological work required extensive calculations, he began to experiment with alternatives to mechanical equipment. In 1941 he went to summer course at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He was asked to stay as an instructor, which he did. That year Mauchly wrote a report outlining his ideas for a machine to calculate ballistics tables for the war effort -- a report that helped the Moore School win a contract for the ENIAC. In 1948, Mauchly participated in the design of the ENIAC, its successor the EDVAC, and the commercial UNIVAC 1. He died Jan. 8, 1980.