Who made the first computer? This might seem like an easy question to answer, but it isn’t! Different sources credit different inventors with creating the first computer, and it’s hard to know which ones to trust when they are all so old and have been passed around by word of mouth since then. In this article, we’ll discuss what information we do know about the inventors of the first computer and why their contributions were so important. First, let’s start with the basics – what exactly was the first computer? The Inventor of the First Computer: Who Was It?
Table of Contents
The first computer was built in 1822 by Charles Babbage, a mathematician. He developed a machine called the difference engine that was designed to calculate mathematical tables using a concept now known as binary code. Today, we use computers and binary code to carry out many computing tasks; Babbage’s engine is considered to be one of history’s first computers, but it was never built in his lifetime.
The man who invented ENIAC, one of history’s first programmable computers, is George Stibitz. While working at Bell Labs in New Jersey in 1939, Stibitz was tasked with calculating ballistic trajectories for U.S. Army missiles and rockets. For such calculations to be done quickly—and accurately—Stibitz needed a fast and reliable way to move numbers from one place to another on a digital display.
Howard Hathaway Aiken was an American physicist, engineer and inventor best known for his work on early computers. He was a recipient of many honors including, in 1985, National Medal of Science. Aiken’s research on large-scale digital computing led to him being called the father of modern computing as well as to computers being named after him (the Mark I computer). He was born into a farming family and brought up in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Today, computers are ubiquitous in our lives, but it wasn’t always that way. If you trace back their roots to earlier times, you can find that they were originally created to help with math-related calculations and data storage during World War II. The person who invented one of these first computers was Konrad Zuse. He designed a programmable, electromechanical machine called Z1 in 1938.
Lee de Forest
Most historians credit Lee de Forest with inventing radio as we know it today. De Forest developed, patented, and marketed both an improved Audion (Triode) vacuum tube and a device that used these tubes to transmit wireless signals over long distances. Called a radio telephone, it was one of two wireless systems that competed for commercialization in 1912. The other was Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company, which had by then merged with major telegraph companies to become a media conglomerate.
The inventor of one of humankind’s most revolutionary inventions—the computer—was Vannevar Bush, an engineer and a science administrator. His influential Atlantic Monthly piece, As We May Think, published in 1945, envisioned a futuristic machine capable of storing and providing instant access to volumes of written material. Today we call that machine a computer.
Z1 – Z4 Machines
Before Alan Turing’s Bombe, there were a few other attempts at creating a computer that mimicked human thought processes. There was Charles Babbage’s difference engine and his analytical engine, which was completed in 1832. The analytical engine even had its own software program—which were written on punch cards—and it could perform calculations to preprogrammed instructions.
Lovelace wrote about what we would call computer science, and her notes anticipate many concepts that are part of programming today. Her relationship with Babbage can be seen as one in which he needed someone to write his plans down, while she needed an outlet for her mathematical ideas. The Inventor of the First Computer: Who Was It?
Thomas J. Watson
September 9, 1874 – January 16, 1956) was an American businessman and philanthropist who served as chairman and CEO of IBM (International Business Machines) for more than 37 years. He is known for being a prominent national leader in both business and humanitarian circles. He was an executive of many organizations, and had a wide range of interests that included art, history, and poetry. During his lifetime he received hundreds of awards and honors from business, civic, academic institutions.
Hollerith helped usher in a new era of business efficiency by inventing an electric tabulating machine that automated counting and sorting tasks—and was widely used by companies to streamline business operations. Not only did he create a machine that could automatically read data on punch cards, but he also worked out ways to mass-produce them at low cost, enabling him to build his own successful business from scratch.
Luther George Simjian
From a young age, Simjian was fascinated with electronics. He spent his free time tinkering in a shed he built in his parents’ backyard, developing expertise in electrical components like motors and circuit boards. After finishing high school, he joined IBM to work on their own PC projects. In 1963, IBM unveiled its IBM 1401 mainframe computer—one of many early programs built by Simjian and his team. This machine would become one of several precursors to today’s personal computers.
When was the 1st computer invented?
The invention of computers revolutionized how we live and work. So who invented them? The first computer was conceptualized in 1637 by German inventor, mechanical engineer, and mathematician Wilhelm Schickard. He built a mechanical calculator that could perform basic arithmetic operations. Although it had no processor or electronic circuits, it was considered a computer because its operation called for human intervention instead of relying on fixed instructions from computer program.
Who invented computer first time and when?
To answer who invented computers, one has to look at it from a number of different angles. The first person credited with making a programmable computing device was Charles Babbage, an English mathematician, scientist and inventor. His machine wasn’t built until 2000 years after his time (the 19th century), but his ideas were so far ahead of their time that they still make sense today.
Who was the first computer in the world?
Many people will argue that Charles Babbage was responsible for inventing one of history’s first computers. However, we should give credit to another inventor in history—Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci was known for his many inventions and even made several drawings that resembled modern-day computers. He created a machine with endless possibilities and is often considered to be a computer genius by some historians. The Inventor of the First Computer: Who Was It?