It is hard to imagine a time when the computer did not exist. We use them for so many everyday functions and jobs. However, computers have not been around forever and they are in fact a fairly recent development in modern technology. Simply a computer is a machine that can perform calculations automatically. It is a device that can store and manipulate data and information. When was the first computer made? This article will answer that question.
It is difficult to say when the first computer was made as there is many definitions to what we describe as a computer. The first machine that was able to perform calculations automatically is credited to Blaise Pascal. In 1642 he created a machine that could add and subtract numbers automatically to help his father who was a tax collector. The first machine that resembles what we would call a computer now in that it was programmable, able to calculate and store data and worked on a binary system was the Z electro mechanic computers. These were invented by Konrad Zuse in 1936.
There is some contention over who developed and made the first digital computer. In 1942 two men, Professor John Vincent Atanasoff and graduate student Cliff Berry, from Iowa State University completed their work on an electronic digital computer named the ABC computer. However, this computer was never fully functional. At around the same time the ENIAC was being invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania. They began the construction of their computer in 1943 and finished in 1946. For a long time the ENIAC was recognized as the first electronic digital computer until a court case in 1973 declared that the ABC computer was the first to be invented. The ENIAC was the first working electronic digital computer and occupied about 1,800 square feet and used about 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighing almost 50 tons. These computers were super machines and did not resemble the computer as we know it today.
The Whirlwind by MIT was made in 1955 and was the first computer with magnetic RAM and graphics. In 1956 the first transistor computer, The TX-O, was created. The first personal computer was said to be the Kenback- 1. The Micral is considered to be the first commercial non-assembly computer and it was released in 1973.