Harvard Mark I
By: Dillon Bendig TEJ101
What is the Harvard Mark I
The Harvard Mark I(also known as ASCC) Is the first automatic calculator in the United States made by IBM and Howard Aiken. It is also the largest electro-mechanical calculator standing eight feet tall and fifty one feet long, weighing almost five tonnes. It is a parallel synchronous calculator that can perform Table lookup's and four fundamental arithmetic calculations, with numbers reaching twenty three digits in length. It is basically the very first calculator to give almost quick results for complex problems. The machine can add two numbers together in 3 to 6 seconds.
This is the Harvard Mark I completely finished.
This is the Harvard Mark I completely finished.

This is a piece of the Harvard Mark I in production.
This is a piece of the Harvard Mark I in production.



When it was built
The Idea of the Harvard Computer was first thought of by Howard Aiken in the 1930's. Howard was an American physicist and he was very experienced in computing. He also worked for IBM with the designing of the Harvard Mark I. After more than a decade of planning and building the Harvard Mark I was finally built and shipped to the Harvard University. At this point IBM had already spent 200'000 dollars in building the machine, they also gave the Harvard University 100'000 dollars to cover the operating costs.

This is a photo of Howard Aiken.
This is a photo of Howard Aiken.



What it is made of
The machine is made of 78 adding machines and calculators linked together. It also has a total of 765'000 parts and 3'300 relays and 72 storage counters for fast results.

What its use is
The main use for the machine was to calculate mathematical tables for the Navy to use during World War II. These tables were used to help the Navy create blueprints for various things including torpedoes and under water detection systems. The machine did all of its work by punching holes into rolls of paper and with automatic typewriters. It was also used at the Harvard University for complex problems in a variety of different areas. The Harvard University used it for 15 years until they had no more use for it because newer technology was being created. A portion of the machine was sent to the Smithsonian in Washington DC, though Harvard also kept part of it for an exhibit.


This is a one minute video showing the Harvard Mark I
in working condition.


This is a longer more informational video of the Harvard
Mark I.
This is the Harvard Mark I exhibit on display
This is the Harvard Mark I exhibit on display



For more Information:
IBM's Archives
Info on Howard Aiken
The Harvard Website
Harvard info/wiki
Harvard Mark I/Wikipedia