Mrs. Kandy K. Piercy
Paul Knox Middle School
Grades 6, 7, and 8
The UNIVAC is classified as a first generation computer. Generations of computers are classified as such because of a specific new technology in which they envelop. The first generation of computers were classified as such because they used vacuum tubes. They were also the first commercially sold computer in the U. S. The UNIVAC I was the first digital computer to be able to use both numerical and alphabetical information easily.
The UNIVAC or the Universal Automatic Computer was developed by Dr.J. Presper Eckert and Dr. John Mauchly in 1951. The Census Bureau purchased the computer to complete the census. It was delivered on March 31, 1951. There were forty six UNIVAC computers built for business and government.
As a publicity stunt, the UNIVAC was used to predict the Eisenhower-Stevenson race for the presidential election. The computer actually did make a correct prediction of Eisenhower's win; however, the media did not acknowledge the computer's prediction and even went as far as saying that the UNIVAC had predicted incorrectly.
The original UNIVAC is currently at the Smithsonian Institute.
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Http://rpsec.usca.sc.edu/Classwork/731Sp99/Lesson/Piercyth2.html (February 1999)