Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: April 18, 2014

May 6, 1949

British Computer EDSAC Performs First Calculation.

The EDSAC performed its first calculation. Maurice Wilkes had assembled the machine -- the first practical stored-program computer -- at Cambridge University (an earlier machine at the University of Manchester was too small for practical purposes). His ideas grew out of the Moore School lectures he had attended three years earlier at the University of Pennsylvania. For programming the EDSAC, Wilkes established a library of short programs called subroutines stored on punched paper tapes. It performed 714 operations per second.