Harvard Mark I Control Panel, IBM ASCC

Harvard Mark I Control Panel, IBM ASCC

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Description
This is a small part of one of the first machines that could be programmed to carry out calculations automatically. Initially designed to solve scientific problems, it was used during World War II to carry out computations for the United States Navy. It was a one-of-a-kind machine. After the war, IBM would greatly expand its activity in computing to include electronic computers. Harvard began one of the first degree programs in computer science. People who had worked on the Mark I, such as Grace Murray Hopper, also went to work for other early computer manufacturers. More generally, many scholars and ordinary people first learned about "giant brains," as early computers were called, through workshops and press releases of the Harvard Computation Laboratory.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
computer component
electromechanical computer component
Other Terms
electromechanical computer component; computer component; Control Panel
Date made
1944
maker
IBM
Harvard University
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge, Harvard University
Measurements
overall: 213 cm x 76 cm x 13 cm; 83 7/8 in x 29 15/16 in x 5 1/8 in
ID Number
MA.323579
accession number
248831
catalog number
323579
Credit Line
Gift of President and Fellows of Harvard University
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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