The Origins of Digital Computers

Selected Papers

  • Brian┬áRandell

Part of the Texts and Monographs in Computer Science book series (MCS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVI
  2. Brian Randell
    Pages 1-6
  3. Charles Babbage, C. W. Merrifield, H. P. Babbage, Percy E. Ludgate, Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, L. Couffignal
    Pages 7-123
  4. H. Hollerith, L. Couffignal, H.-J. Dreyer, A. Walther
    Pages 125-153
  5. Konrad Zuse, Helmut Schreyer
    Pages 155-186
  6. Howard H. Aiken, Grace M. Hopper, W. J. Erkert, John W. Sheldon, Liston Tatum
    Pages 187-235
  7. G. R. Stibitz, O. Cesareo, Joseph Juley, Franz L. Alt
    Pages 237-286
  8. E. William Phillips, John V. Atanasoff, D. Michie, John W. Mauchly, H. H. Goldstine, Adele Goldstine
    Pages 287-347
  9. John von Neumann, John W. Mauchly, Arthur W. Burks, Herman H. Goldstine, F. C. Williams, T. Kilburn et al.
    Pages 349-401
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 403-464

About this book


My interest in the history of digital computers became an active one when I had the fortune to come across the almost entirely forgotten work of PERCY LUDGATE, who designed a mechanical program-controlled computer in Ireland in the early 1 'JOO's. I undertook an investigation of his life and work, during which I began to realise that a large number of early developments, which we can now see as culminating in the modern digital computer, had been most undeservedly forgotten. Hopefully, historians of science, some of whom are now taking up the subject of the development of the computer and accumulating valuable data, particularly about the more recent events from the people concerned, will before too long provide us with comprehensive analytical accounts of the invention of the computer. The present book merely aims to bring together some of the more important and interesting written source material for such a history of computers. (Where necessary, papers have been translated into English, but every attempt has been made to retain the flavour of the original, and to avoid possibly misleading use of modern computing terminology.


Computers Datenverarbeitung History of Computer Science computer computer science control

Editors and affiliations

  • Brian┬áRandell
    • 1
  1. 1.Computing LaboratoryUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneEngland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1973
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-96244-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-96242-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-603X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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