The ARMY BRAIN (Jun, 1946)


A GIANT “thinking machine,” able to apply electronic speeds for the first time to mathematical tasks too difficult for previous solution, is now in use by the U. S. Army. It can compute 1,000 times faster than the most advanced calculating device previously known, can solve in hours problems which would take years on a mechanical machine and shows promise of revolutionizing long-range weather prediction and many other highly complicated sciences.

Known as the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the revolutionary robot weighs 30 tons and occupies a room 30 by 50 feet in size. Temporarily housed at the University of Pennsylvania, the machine’s permanent home will be the Army Ordnance Proving Grounds at Aberdeen, Md.

The first all-electronic, general purpose computer ever developed, it was designed and constructed for Army Ordnance at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania. The electronic robot is capable of solving thousands of technical and scientific problems so complex and difficult that all previous methods of solution were considered impractical, if not impossible.

  1. Rick Auricchio says: April 16, 20128:39 am

    There’s an amazing description of one of the Navy’s earlier WW2 targeting computers here. It’s 100% mechanical!…

  2. Zeppflyer says: April 16, 20129:50 am

    I’m currently reading this:…
    “Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe” a fascinating look at the politics and personalities that went into developing the first electronic computers. A bit discursive in parts, but I’d highly recommend it if you’re interested in the subject.

  3. Toronto says: April 16, 201211:04 am

    Nice to see they built it to be portable.

  4. Charlene says: April 16, 201212:55 pm

    Time for an old Army joke:

    Notice that they never say that ENIAC was “commissioned”, just that it was “designed and constructed”?

    That’s because there’s no room for a brain in the commissioned ranks.

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