JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
The Columbia Difference Tabulator - 1931
The earliest use of the term "super computer" seems to com from the New York World, ("1920" though actually 1929), and was applied to a unique instrument made by IBM for Columbia University. The The Columbia Difference Tabulator, completed that year, was nicknamed the "Packard", after the large, streamlined-but-bulbous American luxury car of enormity.
And a picture of the great beast, below.
[Picture source: Columbia University computer history page, here. .]
"The new machine "mass-produced the sums of products by the method of progressive digiting and read punch cards at the rate of 150 per minute. It contained ten 10-position counters with provision for shifting totals internally from one counter to another – a capability that anticipated a future function of computers." . The new machine, variously called the "Columbia Machine", the "Statistical Calculator", the "Difference Tabulator", and (because of its massive size) the "Packard", was delivered and installed in 1931."--From the Columbia University site, here.
Idea source: Eames, Charles; Eames, Ray (1973). A Computer Perspective. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. p. 95. More links and references at Columbia University's computer history page, here.