Not many universities can claim to have seen the genesis of a technological revolution. The University of Pennsylvania was indeed fortunate to have been the site where the world’s first large-scale general purpose digital computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC), was built. Yet the history of the granddaddy of all modern computers has overshadowed much of the research and innovation that has occurred at Penn since the construction of ENIAC. Many brilliant researchers still walk through the halls of the Moore Building, whose dark basement once held the vast immensity of vacuum tubes and wires that was ENIAC. Indeed, innovative computer researchers walk through all of the Schools of the University of Pennsylvania.
While moving through this exhibit, take a look at some of the people, places, and ideas that have shaped the University’s use of all kinds of computer hardware and software.