Penn History

This exhibit was researched and written by Nicholas G. Heavens, University Archives Summer Research Fellow, 2000-2002. He is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and has been a University Archives Summer Research Fellow for the last three years. Much of this exhibit is based on his research of the history of computing at Penn in the summer of 2000.

Born in 1904, Brainerd received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1925 and a Doctor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from the University in 1934. Hired by the University’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1925, he later became Professor of Electrical Engineering and supervised the ENIAC project. While John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, who designed and constructed the computer, left the University to start a company to build computers (the ancestor of UNISYS), Brainerd remained at the Moore School and became its Director in 1954.

John G. Brainerd, 1966
John G. Brainerd, 1966