Who Built The First Computer?

If you look at most history books, they'll tell you ENIAC (for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the first true all-purpose electronic computer. Unveiled in 1946 in a blaze of publicity, it was a monstrous 30-ton machine, as big as two semis and filled with enough vacuum tubes (19,000), switches (6,000) and blinking lights to require an army of attendants. Capable of adding 5,000 numbers in a second, a then unheard of feat, it could compute the trajectory of an artillery shell well before it landed (compared with days of labored hand calculations).

But while this electronic brain, as headline...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!