Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: October 26, 2014

March 31, 1939

Harvard and IBM Agree to Build The Mark I "Giant Brain"

Harvard and IBM sign an agreement to build the Mark I, also known as the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC). Project leader Howard Aiken developed the original concept of the machine: a series of switches, relays, rotating shafts and clutches. The Mark I weighed about five tons and contained more than 750,000 components. It read instructions from paper tape and data from punch cards.