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The EDSAC computer was completed at Cambridge University, England, in May 1949. By early 1950 a programming system had been set up and the EDSAC began to attract a number of regular users. This article describes the development of the programming system between the first operation of the machine in May 1949 and the end of that year. Subsequent programming developments in 1950-1952 are also described. The paper concludes with an assessment of this programming activity.