Birth of the Computer
Two ENIAC accumulators are here wired to perform addition. The neon lights show the numbers +1203762893 and +3033331112.View Artifact Detail
Computation Becomes Electronic
World War II acted as midwife to the birth of the modern electronic computer. Unprecedented military demands for calculations—and hefty wartime budgets—spurred innovation.
Early electronic computers were one-of-a-kind machines built for specific tasks. But setting them up was cumbersome and time-consuming. The revolutionary innovation of storing programs in memory replaced the switches and wiring with readily changed software.