January 24, 1948: IBM Dedicated Poppa in New York City

the Poppa - SSEC
the Poppa – SSEC

1948 – At IBM world headquarters, IBM dedicated the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC). The machine – otherwise known as Poppa – was the first computer to combine electronic computation with stored instruction. The 13,500 vacuum tube computer contained 21,000 relays.

The 1,800 square foot computer room had a large glass window so the public could see the building of Poppa. IBM created a raised floor for this computer so cables could run underneath and would not be tripped on. This was all in promotion to compete with the ENIAC computer.

The first calculations were of the positions of the Moon and planets. This would eventually be used by NASA to plot the course of the 1969 Apollo flight.

The SSEC was decommissioned in 1952.

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