Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: October 25, 2014
The Harvard Mark I

November 3, 1937

Aiken Approaches IBM Attempting to Create Giant Brain

Howard H. Aiken (Harvard University) writes a letter to J.W. Bryce (IBM) starting a discussion on automatic calculating machinery for use in computing physical problems. This would lead to the creation of the Harvard Mark I, the fifty-one feet long, eight feet high, and weighing nearly five tons Giant Brain. With high-speed electromechanical units for multiplication and division, electromechanical tables of functions, three paper-tape interpolator units, 72 accumulating storage registers and 60 dial-switch constant register, all called into play by commands read from the punched-tape sequence control, the Harvard Mark I was the most powerful calculating machine of its day.