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January 10, 2013

Work starts on early British Calculator replica

Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) project expected to complete in 2015.

By CBR Staff Writer

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) in the UK is working on a project to recreate a working replica of the original early British computer, the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC).

The project, which was announced last year, is expected to complete in 2015.

EDSAC project manager Andrew Herbert said: "EDSAC marks a hugely important early milestone in computing. Until EDSAC, general purpose computers had been purely experimental systems locked away in research laboratories."

EDSAC, which first started its operations in 1949, ran for nine years before being scrapped with only three of its 140 ‘chassis’ surviving. TNMOC said one of these chassis was used as the model for the production of the first 20 replica chassis at Teversham Engineering in Cambridge.

Herbert said: "Over the past year we have researched EDSAC’s design and original construction, so this week marks the exciting transition from research to production."

"It has been inspiring to see in detail the chassis design and manufacture using computer techniques that EDSAC effectively paved the way for."

"With this important step accomplished we are confident that we can complete the daunting task of replicating EDSAC as it was in 1949."

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Funding for the project is being provided by a consortium led by Hermann Hauser and Google UK.

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