What Happened on August 30th
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 PhD 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. Mauchly worked on the successor to the ENIAC, the EDVAC, and the commercial UNIVAC 1. He died January 8, 1980.