J. Presper Eckert
Born Apr 9 1919 - Died Jun 3 1995
Data Translating Apparatus
Patent Number(s) 2,577,141
J. Presper Eckert was co-inventor of ENIAC, introduced to the public
at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946. ENIAC was considered a computer
marvel, containing over 17,000 vacuum tubes and weighing over 30 tons.
Although ENIAC was not the first computer, it was the first electronic
device designed to carry out general-purpose computation. It could add,
subtract, multiply, divide, and extract square roots, as well as predict
weather, calculate atomic energy, study cosmic rays and examine wind
tunnel design. ENIAC, housed at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering,
was 1,000 times faster than previous electromechanical calculators.
Eckert was born in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania.
He graduated in 1941 with his B.S. and in 1943 with his M.S., both in
electrical engineering. An outstanding student, he was given a teaching
post at the universitys electrical engineering school soon after
his graduation. His role with the ENIAC project, which began in 1943,
was as chief engineer. In 1946, Eckert and John Mauchly began the Electronic
Control Company, later the Eckert Mauchly Computer Corporation. Eckert
remained with the company when it was acquired by Remington Rand and
when it merged with Burroughs Corporation, becoming Unisys. He retired
from Unisys in 1989.