Log Book With Computer Bug

American engineers have been calling small flaws in machines "bugs" for over a century. Thomas Edison talked about bugs in electrical circuits in the 1870s. When the first computers were built during the early 1940s, people working on them found bugs in both the hardware of the machines and in the programs that ran them. 
In 1947, engineers working on the Mark II computer at Harvard University found a moth stuck in one of the components. They taped the insect in their logbook and labeled it "first actual case of bug being found." The words "bug" and "debug" soon became a standard part of the language of computer programmers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
log book
Date made
Hughey, Ray
Aiken, Howard Hathaway
Harvard University
Harvard University
Aiken, Howard
Physical Description
tape (overall material)
paper (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
ink (overall material)
biologicals (overall material)
overall: 1.5 cm x 48.4 cm x 29.5 cm; 9/16 in x 19 1/16 in x 11 5/8 in
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
Computer Bug
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from United States Department of Defense, Naval Surface Warfare Center
Additional Media

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