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The Manchester Baby, built by F.C. Williams and Tom Kilburn and operational in June 1948, was the first stored-program electronic computer. The Williams-Kilburn tube memory, pioneered in the Baby, was subsequently adopted in many first-generation computers, including the Princeton IAS machine and the IBM 701. Part 1 of this article provides an overview of the Manchester project and its personnel and documents the origins of the Williams-Kilburn tube.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2011