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The ENIAC

A section of the ENIAC | ENIAC, which was short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, was the first successful, general-purpose, electronic computer. ENIAC was capable of being reprogrammed to solve a host of computing problems. ENIAC was designed and built to calculate artillery firing tables for the U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory by co-inventors John Mauchly and Presper Eckert. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library.)Another Section of ENIAC | The ENIAC's design and construction were financed by the United States Army during World War II and the construction contract was signed on June 5, 1943. The development of the computer began in secret by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering starting the following month under the code name "Project PX."  ENIAC was demonstrated on Feb. 14, 1946, at the University of Pennsylvania, having cost almost $500,000. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library.)Engineer Replaces ENIAC Vacuum Tube | Glenn Beck replaces a bad tube in the ENIAC. Replacing a tube meant checking more than 17,000 possibilities. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library.)President Truman Visits ENIAC | The President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, attended the unveiling of the ENIAC, which was heralded by PBS television as "the machine that changed the world."  Truman dedicated the Armory at Northwest Missouri State University, which was named the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center in 2008. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library.)ENIAC Decade Ring Counter | ENIAC component size compared to later models. Left: Patsy Simmers, holding ENIAC board. Center Left: Gail Taylor, holding EDVAC board. Center Right: Milly Beck, holding ORDVAC board. Right: Norma Stec, holding BRLESC-I board. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library.)Smithsonian Loan | The Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum has an original ENIAC Decade Ring Counter on loan from the Smithsonian. Jean Jennings Bartik later acquired period vacuum tubes for the Decade Ring Counter. Center: Assistant Director/Archivist of the JENNINGS Computing Bartik Museum, K.D. Todd, holds Decade Ring Counter. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum.) ENIAC Decade Ring Gets Vacuum Tubes | Jean Jennings Bartik acquired the period vacuum tubes that are now on display with the ENIAC Decade Ring Counter at the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum.)ENIAC Decade Ring Counter on Display | The decade ring counter added and stored numbers. Ten flip-flop circuits, which were interconnected to count digit pulses, formed a decade ring counter. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum.)ENIAC Decade Ring Counter on Display | Besides 17,468 vacuum tubes similar to the ones shown in the JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum's Decade Ring Counter, ENIAC iteself contained 7,200 crystal diodes, 1,500 relays, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors and around 5 million hand-soldered joints. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum.) ENIAC Decade Ring Counter Vacuum Tubes | Electronic tubes like the ones shown in the pictures in the ENIAC. ENIAC itself contained 17,468 vacuum tubes. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum.)