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MESM (МЭСМ, Малая Электронно-Счетная Машина, Small Electronic Calculating Machine) was the first universally programmable electronic computer in the Soviet Union. By some authors it was also depicted as the first one in continental Europe, even though the Zuse Z4 and the Swedish BARK preceding it.[1]

It was created by a team of scientists under the direction of Sergei Alekseyevich Lebedev from the Kiev Institute of Electrotechnology in the Soviet Union, at Feofaniya.[1]

Work on the MESM started in late 1948 and involved a team of 20 people.[2] MESM became operational in 1950.[3][4] It had about 6,000 vacuum tubes and consumed 25 kW of power. It could perform approximately 3,000 operations per minute.[5] It was 8 to 10 metres (26 to 33 ft) long and about 2 metres (7 ft) tall.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Harbour, Michael Gonzalez (1999). Reliable Software Technologies - Ada-Europe '99. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 181. ISBN 9783540660934. Archived from the original on 2017-10-24. 
  2. ^ MESM Soviet computer project marks 60 years. Engadget. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  3. ^ Graham, Loren R. (1993). Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History. Cambridge University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0521287898. Archived from the original on 2017-10-24. 
  4. ^ Mercier-Laurent, Eunika; Boulanger, Danielle (2014-05-23). Artificial Intelligence for Knowledge Management: First IFIP WG 12.6 International Workshop, AI4KM 2012, Montpellier, France, August 28, 2012, Revised Selected Papers. Springer. p. 2. ISBN 9783642548970. 
  5. ^ Crowe, Gregory D.; Goodman, Seymour E. (1994), "S.A. Lebedev and the Birth of Soviet Computing", Annals of the History of Computing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 16: 4–24, doi:10.1109/85.251852 
  6. ^ Hally, Mike (2005). Electronic brains: Stories from the dawn of the computer age. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 978-0-309-09630-0.