Co-designer J. Presper Eckert, Jr. and chief engineer James R. Weiner look over their new portable BINAC "electronic brain," Philadelphia, PA, August 21, 1949.
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J. Presper Eckert, Jr., co-designer and James R. Weiner, chief engineer, look over the new portable "electronic brain."

Credit: Image Donated by Corbis-Bettmann

After reorganizing as the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1948, John W. Mauchley and J. Presper Eckert Jr. built a pathbreaking computer at their Ridge Avenue workshop in Philadelphia, PA. The first computer to use binary numeration - the "0" and "1" that correspond to the on/off position of electric switches– rather than traditional decimal characters, BINAC could calculate 12,000 times faster than a person, compose music, and play chess.

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