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Ferranti Recollections (1950-1955)

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1 Author(s)

I joined Ferranti Ltd. in September 1950 from the University of Cambridge Mathematical Laboratory, where I had been Maurice Wilkes's first research student. I had just spent three years in Cambridge-one helping to design and build EDSAC and two using it-having arrived in the United Kingdom from Australia in September 1947. The Ferranti computing group was part of the sales section associated with the Instrument Department located at Maston, Manchester, and Ferranti had just won a contract, surely a record for its brevity, to "construct an electronic calculating machine to the instructions of Professor F.C. Williams." The contract (to construct the Ferranti Mkl) was signed a few days after the successful demonstration of the Manchester University prototype to Sir Ben Lockspeiser, then the United Kingdom Government Chief Scientist. The Manchester prototype was developed from a test rig for the original Williams CRT store and began operating in June 1948. The Ferranti machine, when installed in the Royal Society Computing Laboratory at Manchester University, was known as MADM (Manchester Automatic Digital Machine).

Published in:

IEEE Annals of the History of Computing  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )