Born Aug 30 1907 - Died Jan 8 1980
Data Translating Apparatus
Patent Number(s) 2,577,141
John Mauchly co-invented the first practical electronic digital computer.
ENIAC, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, was initially
meant to compute World War II ballistic firing tables. Housed at the
University of Pennsylvania, then moved to the U.S. Armys Aberdeen
Proving Ground in Maryland, ENIAC could calculate in 30 seconds what
would take a person 20 hours.
Mauchly and Presper Eckert led a team to construct the computer, with
Mauchly developing the mathematical theory. Construction was not complete
until after the war, too late to complete the original purpose of calculating
firing tables for artillery. Instead, test runs in 1945 involved millions
of discrete calculations for top-secret thermonuclear chain reactions
for the hydrogen bomb.
Born in Cincinnati, Mauchly attended Johns Hopkins University, receiving
a Ph.D. in physics in 1932. Until 1941, he taught physics at Ursinus
College. He then went to the Moore School of Electrical Engineering
at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1946, Mauchly and Eckert left
the Moore School to begin the Eckert Mauchly Computer Corporation. Together,
they marketed UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer), the first commercial
computer. In 1959, Mauchly formed the consulting firm of Mauchly Associates.