The ENIAC: Images of the World's First General-Purpose Computer

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February 16, 2012
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The ENIAC: Images of the World's First General-Purpose Computer

On February 14, 1946, the US Army finished building the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, the world’s first general-purpose electronic computer—a system larger than my apartment. ENIAC was originally created with the intent of calculating artillery firing tables for the Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory.

The ginormous, 25-ton computer contained 17,458 vacuum tubes, 7,200 crystal diodes, 1,500 relays, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, and 5 million hand-soldered joints, producing a total power consumption of 160 kilowatts. In a single second the computer could calculate 5,000 additions, 357 multiplications, or 38 divisions. Back in the day, the calculating computer was $500,000, which totals about $6 million today, adjusted for inflation.

Design, ENIAC, photography
Design, ENIAC, photography
Design, ENIAC, photography
Design, ENIAC, photography
Design, ENIAC, photography

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our Design Blog:

Linotype: The Film and the Forgotten Machine that Changed the World
First Photo of a Human
NeXT: A brand Development Between Steve Jobs and Paul Rand

Via Maximum PC (read more factoids on the ENIAC there)

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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Lead Product Designer / New York, NY

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