ENIAC: The First U.S. Computer and How Women Made It Work

It all began with a woman.

I am reading Walter Issacson’s book, The Innovators. What is interesting is that his book begins by describing the work of Lady Ada Lovelace, who was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Ada Lovelace is the mind that first imagined and even wrote about the possibilities of computers and programming way back in the 1840’s. Naturally the technical abilities and the tools were not available when she came up with her vision of programming, but almost everything subsequent to her work is based on the foundation she created.

The March 2015 post that I’ve reblogged below is about the amazing women who figured out how to program one of the first computers, ENIAC, right after World War II.

Media! Tech! Parenting!

ENIAC 6People — young and old — enjoy learning about the first computer in the United States, ENIAC, booted up in 1946. Every 21st Century learner needs to know about this amazing machine and the story of the first programmers.

A few weeks ago I visited Philadelphia and had a special opportunity to visit ENIAC. This huge, old-fashioned computer is owned by the Smithsonian Institution  (read this article), but parts of it are still housed in a building at the University of Pennsylvania, almost exactly where it was originally set up. ENIAC could be  programmed to do extensive calculations much faster than humans could calculate.

The letters in ENIAC stand for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.                            

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One thought on “ENIAC: The First U.S. Computer and How Women Made It Work

  1. Quite amazed by the facts: women were the original thinkers and doers in the computer field; Poet Lord Byron’s daughter had to do with the conceptualization of the computer and some! Thanks Marti!

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