List of vacuum tube computers

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Vacuum tube computers are programmable digital computers using vacuum tube logic circuitry. They were preceded by systems using electromechanical relays and followed by systems built from discrete transistors. Later entries in this list may have been built using transistors in addition to vacuum tubes.

This is a list of vacuum tube computers, arranged by date put into service:

Computer Date Notes
Atanasoff–Berry Computer 1942 Not programmable
Colossus 1943 First programmable computer. Special purpose: cryptanalysis. Used to break the German Lorenz cipher. Working replica demonstrated daily at TNMOC, Bletchley Park.
ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) 1946 First large-scale general-purpose programmable electronic digital computer. Built by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering for the U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory. Originally programmed by wiring together components, later converted to stored-program operation.
Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine ("The Baby") 1948 First stored program computer. Working replica demonstrated daily in Manchester Museum of Science and Industry
Manchester Mark 1 1949 Provided a computing service from April 1949. First index registers. Replaced in 1951 by Ferranti Mark 1.
EDSAC 1949 Provided a computing service from May 1949. Working replica currently being built at Bletchley Park. Scheduled to go live in 2015.
BINAC 1949 First stored-program computer to be sold.
CSIRAC 1949 Oldest surviving first generation computer—unrestored and non-functional.
SEAC (Standards Eastern Automatic Computer) 1950 First U.S. stored-program computer to become operational. Built by and for the U.S. National Bureau of Standards. Used solid-state diode circuits for its logic. Several computers were based on the SEAC design.
SWAC 1950
ERA Atlas 1950
Magnetic Drum Digital Differential Analyzer 1950
Harvard Mark III 1950
Pilot ACE 1950 Based on a full-scale design by Alan Turing
Ferranti Mark 1 1951 First commercially available computer, based on Manchester Mark 1.
EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) 1951 The successor to ENIAC, and also built by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering for the U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory. One of the first stored-program computers to be designed, but its entry into service was delayed. EDVAC's design influenced a number of other computers.
Harwell Dekatron Computer 1951 Now officially the oldest original working computer in the world. Demonstrated daily at TNMOC, Bletchley Park.
Whirlwind 1951
UNIVAC I 1951 Mass produced. 46 were made.
LEO I 1951 First computer for commercial applications. Built by J. Lyons and Co. restaurant and bakery chain. Based on EDSAC design.
Remington Rand 409 1952
UNIVAC 1101 1951 Designed by Engineering Research Associates (ERA)
Harvard Mark IV 1952
IAS machine 1952
IBM 701 1952
BESM-1, BESM-2 1952
AVIDAC 1953 Based on the IAS computer
FLAC (Florida Automatic Computer) 1953 Design based on SEAC. Located at Patrick Air Force Base.
IBM 702 1953
UNIVAC 1103 1953 Designed by Engineering Research Associates (ERA)
Strela computer 1953
IBM 650 1954
IBM 704 1954
IBM 705 1954
BESK 1954
REAC C-400 series 1954 1961 REAC installed for $60,000 at U of Mn[1]
UNIVAC 1102 1954
DYSEAC 1954 Built by the U.S. National Bureau of Standards as an improved version of SEAC. Mounted in a trailer van, making it the first computer to be transportable.
Wisconsin Integrally Synchronized Computer 1954
English Electric DEUCE 1955
ICT 1200 series 1955
WEIZAC 1955 Built by the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) under the guidance of Prof. G. Estrin. First computer designed in the Middle East.
IBM 305 RAMAC 1956
Bull Gamma 3 1956
PERM (computer) 1956
SMIL (computer) 1956
Bendix G-15 1956
LGP-30 1956
UNIVAC 1103A 1956 First computer to have hardware interrupts
FUJIC 1956
Ferranti Pegasus 1956 Second oldest working computer in the world, at the London Science Museum.
Zuse Z22 1957
DASK 1957
Stantec Zebra 1957
UNIVAC 1104 1957
Ferranti Mercury 1957
IBM 610 1957
FACIT EDB 2 1957
Sandia RAYPAC (Ray Path Analog Computer) c. 1957 Sandia's Blast Prediction Unit used for Operation Teapot[2]
EDSAC 2 1958 First computer to have a microprogrammed control unit and a bit slice hardware architecture.
IBM 709 1958
UNIVAC 1105 1958
AN/FSQ-7 1958 Largest vacuum tube computer ever built. 52 were built for Project SAGE.
Ural series 1959–1964 Ural-1 to Ural-4.
Ferranti Perseus 1958
ZEBRA (computer) 1958
France SEA CAB 303 1958
Rice Institute Computer 1959 Operational 1959-1971, 54-bit tagged architecture
CER-10 1960
Philips Pascal 1960
Sumlock ANITA calculator 1961 Desktop calculator
UMC-1 1962
BRLESC 1962 1727 tubes and 853 transistors
OSAGE 1963 Close copy of the Rice Institute Computer built at the University of Oklahoma

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Operation Teapot: Report of the Test Manager (Report). p. 68.