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Destination ENIAC

DESTINATION ENIAC

 

The ENIAC should be made whole; re-united and reconstructed

The ENIAC should be a premier tourist spot in Philadelphia

 

The ENIAC is the most important invention/artifact of the 20th century.

  • It is big.  (It took up 700 sq ft. and weighed 30 tons.)
  • It was brilliant.  All of today’s billions of computers can trace their DNA to one grandfather: the ENIAC.
  • It mattered.  It started the digital revolution.  It started the race – that continues today – to build faster and faster computers.
  • It was the first electronic computer in the world.

Where is it now?

After ten years of service as the fastest machine in the world, the ENIAC was retired and cut into pieces.  Some went to the Smithsonian, some remained with the Army in Aberdeen, and some went back to the University of Pennsylvania, where it was originally built.  Some were junked.

 

An Opportunity

Like the Liberty Bell, the ENIAC is the icon of a revolution.  The original “Giant Electronic Brain” is a sight to behold – and yet you can not.   Elsewhere, many lesser computers are in museum; but only a small piece of the ENIAC is on display -  in a gun museum in Maryland.  The original pieces of the ENIAC must be reclaimed, borrowed, or reconstructed, to make it whole again, for the first time in 50 years.  When visiting Philadelphia, people will say “Let’s go see the ENIAC.”

 

It’s Got it All

  • Educational – Computers 101 starts here
  • Historical – The Machine that changed the World
  • Human Interest – the amazing stories of the people who made and used it
  • Intrigue – did the inventors steal the idea?
  • Visual – the thing is a huge ugly monster! 

 

What would it take?

An institution to give it a home.  Franklin Institute?  Convention Center?

Some sponsorship.  (Presumably from the trillion dollar computer industry)

Cooperation of Smithsonian, Penn, and Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Feedback? contact Bill Mauchly bmauchly@opgate.com

 

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Bill Mauchly,
Apr 21, 2009, 8:01 PM
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