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The ENIAC's Influence on Business Computing, 1940s-1950s
April-June 2006 (vol. 28 no. 2)
pp. 26-28
James W. Cortada, IBM Corporation
The ENIAC launched the computer as a major new tool of the modern age. Its historical significance is described.

1. A.L. Norberg, Computers and Commerce: A Study of Technology and Management at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, MIT Press, 2005, p. 1.
2. For examples, see "Robot Calculator; ENIAC, All-Electronic Device," Business Week,16 Feb. 1946, p. 50ff; A. Rose, "Lightning Strikes Mathematics: ENIAC," Popular Science, vol. 148, Apr. 1946, pp. 83–86.
3. For an example, see G.W. Patterson et al., eds., Theory and Techniques for Design of Electronic Digital Computers: Lectures Given at the Moore School 8 July 1946–31 August 1946, vols. 1–2, Moore School of Electrical Eng., Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1947; reprint edited by M. Campbell-Kelly and M.R. Williams, MIT Press, 1985.
4. E.W. Pugh, L.R. Johnson, and J.H. Palmer, IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems, MIT Press, 1991, pp. 11–13.
5. Statistical Reports Division, US Dept. of Commerce, The 1950 Censuses—How They Were Taken, Procedural Studies of the 1950 Censuses, No. 2: Population, Housing, Agriculture, Irrigation, Drainage, US Government Printing Office, 1955, pp. 29–38.
6. Described well by J.W. Duncan and W.C. Shelton, Revolution in United States Government Statistics, 1926–1976, US Government Printing Office, 1978.
7. A theme I explored in The Computer in the United States: From Laboratory to Market, 1930–1960, M.E. Sharpe, 1993, pp. 56–57, and which includes citations to other sources.
8. Not to be confused with calculators, such as Howard Aiken's at Harvard University or AT&T's.
9. See, for instance, General Electric, The Next Step in Management: An Appraisal of Cybernetics, General Electric, 1952.
10. J.W. Cortada, The Digital Hand, vols. 1–2, Oxford Univ. Press, 2004 and 2006.
11. A.D. Chandler, Jr., Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries, Free Press, 2001, pp. 6–12.

Index Terms:
ENIAC, computing, business IT
Citation:
James W. Cortada, "The ENIAC's Influence on Business Computing, 1940s-1950s," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 26-28, April-June 2006, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2006.38
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