The ENIAC I
In 1946, John Mauchly and John Presper Eckert developed the ENIAC I (Electrical Numerical Integrator And Calculator). The American military sponsored their research; the army needed a computer for calculating artillery-firing tables, the settings used for different weapons under varied conditions for target accuracy.
The Ballistics Research Laboratory, or BRL, the branch of the military responsible for calculating the tables, heard about John Mauchly’s research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering. John Mauchly had previously created several calculating machines, some with small electric motors inside. He had begun designing (1942) a better calculating machine based on the work of John Atanasoff that would use vacuum tubes to speed up calculations. Read the rest of this entry »