Look Up Another Term

Redirected from: UNIVAC

Definition: UNIVAC I

(UNIVersal Automatic Computer) The first commercially successful computer, introduced in 1951 by Remington Rand. Over 40 systems were sold. Its memory was made of mercury-filled acoustic delay lines that held 1,000 12-digit numbers. It used magnetic tapes that stored 1MB of data at a density of 128 cpi. In 1952, it predicted Eisenhower's victory over Stevenson, and UNIVAC became synonymous with computer (for a while). UNIVAC I's were in use up until the early 1960s. See delay line memory and early memory.

The circuitry that filled up the walk-in CPU of the UNIVAC I, now fits on your finger. The UNIVAC I made history in 1952 when it predicted Eisenhower's victory. This picture is news coverage of that event. (Image courtesy of Unisys Corporation.)

Very Impressive Console
John Mauchly, one of the UNIVAC's designers, is leaning on the "high-tech" console that wowed audiences in the 1950s. Check out the typewriter (right) and the oscilloscope (left). (Image courtesy of Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania.)