JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
The UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) was the first commercially-available electronic computer, and the first computer to handle both numeric and alphabetic information, produced by Remington Rand, and came into working service at the Bureau of the Census in 1951. It was designed by John Mauchly and Pres Eckert Jr, who also worked together in the design and construction of the first digital computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (the famous ENIAC). The UNIVAC was a Big Boy: 25x50', with 5,600 tubes, and 18,000 crystal diodes--given its workhorse nature and general success, by 1957 there were 46 UNIVACs in operation.
The following are working block diagrams of sections of the UNIVAC, produced by some sort of early offset process in 1950, slightly before the computer came to its working life. I have a number of sections of the computer represented in this way, but not the entire machine--but what is here may be of interest to historians of computer science.
Present in the collection:
- 1. The Supervisory Control Panel (2 sheets of 3, including center and left third, both undated but assumed to be 1950 like all of the others. [Shown above]
- 2. Input-Output controls. 3 sheets of 3. (left, middle and right thirds), dated 8/10/50 and 8/7/50.