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The People behind ENIAC | ENIAC - The first general-purpose electronic computer
This web site is devoted to ENIAC — “Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer”. ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was made at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering during World War II under the code name "Project PX". Physics professor John W. Mauchly and electrical engineer J. Presper Eckert led the team. Both were civilian employees whose computer work was funded by the United States Army Ballistics Research Laboratory. This is a collection of the best online information about the ENIAC and the people that created it. (The information is divided into these categories - Select a link or scroll down to read the blog.)

History and technology

People and stories

Was it the first computer?

UNIVAC and beyond

The ENIAC patent trial

Myths about ENIAC

ENIACtion on Facebook

ENIAC/UNIVAC tourism

Where to learn more


Men & women behind the machine

This page has links to resources about the people in the ENIAC story.

John Mauchly and Pres Eckert conceived of ENIAC and led its design.  Like most great scientific advancements, thumb it was the result of a large team effort.

The resources at the links below describe the extensive engineering and scientific effort involved in “Project PX”, recipe along with the personal stories of many behind-the-scenes civilians and Army staff who helped bring ENIAC to life.

ENIAC team

People, viagra sale Machines, and Politics of the Cyber Age Creation (Barnes and Noble Nook book) (read the forward here) – Book by Rocco Martino who was a colleague of Mauchly

Their Machine Launched a World of Change (Kay Mauchly Antonelli article) – Insider perspective of the life impact of ENIAC

Oral history with J. Presper Eckert, Kathleen Mauchly, William Cleaver, and James McNulty (Charles Babbage Institute) – Interview with some of ENIAC’s players

Case Files: Eckert and Mauchly (Franklin Institute) – Good lay overview of the inventors

Panel discussion with Kay Mauchly, Herman Goldstine, Dave Mackey, Richard Clippinger and John Brainerd (IEEE Global History Network) – Another good interview with a variety of important ENIAC players

The Women of ENIAC (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing) – Focuses on the women who were ENIAC’s programmers

Oral history with Jean Bartik and Frances Holberton (Smithsonian) – Focuses on important ENIAC programmers and their careers

ENAIC Programmers Project (Kathy Kleiman) – A video documentary about the programmers

Top Secret Rosies (Site about female “computors” in World War II)

John W. Mauchly

Oral history: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 (Smithsonian) – Comprehensive interview

Fireside Chat (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing) – Mauchly speech

Mauchly Tribute (Tay Hayashi) – Memories of a student of Mauchly’s

Biography (IEEE Global History Network) – Overview for a lay audience

The Computer and the Skateboard (Paul David, Jim Reed) – Documentary about Mauchly and his eccentric personality

John Mauchly’s Early Years (Kay Mauchly / IEEE Annals of the History of Computing) – Insider account of Mauchly’s life leading up to ENIAC

As the Twig is Bent: the Early Life of John Mauchly (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing) – Article about Mauchly’s youth and how it shaped him for making computers.  Also available here.

J. Presper Eckert

Oral history (Charles Babbage Institute) – Comprehensive interview (link went bad)

The lost interview (Computerworld magazine) – Another solid interview

Biography (IEEE Global History Network) – Overview for a lay audience

J. Presper Eckert (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing) – Article about Eckert’s youth and how it shaped him for making computers.  Local copy here: pdf

Jean Bartik

Interview (About.com) – Overview for a lay audience

John Grist Brainerd

Biography (IEEE Global History Network) – Overview for a lay audience

John G. Brainerd and Project PX (Proceedings of the IEEE)

Arthur Burks

Oral history (Charles Babbage Institute)

Oral history with Alice Burks (Charles Babbage Institute)

Oral history (IEEE Global History Network)

Adele Goldstine

Biography (IEEE Global History Network) – Overview for a lay audience

Herman Goldstine

Oral history (Charles Babbage Institute) – Comprehensive interview

Harry Huskey

Oral history with Velma Huskey, Part 1 (Smithsonian) – Comprehensive interview

Oral history with Velma Huskey, Part 2 (Smithsonian) – Comprehensive interview

Kathleen “Kay” Mauchly

Biography (IEEE Global History Network) – Overview for a lay audience

Irven Travis

Oral history (Charles Babbage Institute) – Comprehensive interview

John von Neumann

John von Neumann’s Influence on Electronic Digital Computing (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing) – The man behind the so-called “von Neumann architecture”

John Vincent Atanasoff

Iowa State’s Computer Science has a website “devoted”  to John Atanasoff.    It is a fairly complete collection of the pro-Atanasoff literature.   Part of the motivation to create this site is to counter that well organized propaganda campaign.

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