Until recently most Europeans interested in computing would have claimed that the first electronic computer was the Colossus, designed and constructed in Bletchley, England, by the mathematician Alan Turing and his colleagues, operational in December 1943 and used to decipher the German Enigma code, with a decisive effect on the course of World War II. Most Americans, on the ther hand, would have given the honor to the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator, built by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, and operational in late 1945.

1.
B. Randell, ed., The Origins of Digital Computers, Selected Papers, Springer‐Verlag, New York (1973).
2.
J. V.
Atanasoff
,
Ann. Hist. Computing
6
,
229
(
1984
).
A different viewpoint on the origins of the electronic computer has been presented by
K. R.
Mauchly
,
Ann. Hist. Computing
6
,
116
(
1984
).
3.
E. Larson, US Patent Quarterly 180, 673 (1974).
4.
A. W.
Burks
,
A. R.
Burks
,
Ann. Hist. Computing
3
,
310
(
1981
).
5.
See, for example, M. R. Gore, J. W. Stubbe, Computers and Information Systems, McGraw‐Hill, New York (1984);
H. L. Capron, B. K. Williams, Computers and Data Processing, Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, Calif. (1984).
6.
ENIAC Trial Records, US District Court, District of Minnesota, Fourth Division, Honeywell Inc v. Sperry Rand Corp et al. (1971–72).
7.
J. V. Atanasoff, in B. Randell, ed., The Origins of Digital Computers, Selected Papers, Springer‐Verlag, New York (1973).
8.
The work of the British group is described in A. Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma of Intelligence, Burnett, London (1983).
9.
J.
Gustafson
,
Checkpoint
3
,
5
(
1985
), published by Floating Point Systems, Portland, Ore.
10.
R. K. Richards, Electronic Digital Systems, Wiley, New York (1966).
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