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Letter: On This Day.

1954: IBM demonstrated the first calculator: IBM's first steps toward computing, The Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, also called the Mark I, was completed in 1944 after six years of development with Harvard University. It was the first machine that could execute long computations automatically.

Over 50 feet long, eight feet high and weighing almost five tons, the Mark I took less than a second to solve an addition problem but about six seconds for multiplication and twice as long for division - far slower than any pocket calculator today.

Later in the decade, IBM introduced the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator as the company's first large-scale digital calculating machine, the successful 604 Electronic Calculating Punch - 5,600 of which were built in a ten year period - and the card-programmed Electronic Calculator, the first IBM product designed for computation centres.

Also on This Day: 1492: a false sighting of landcaused Christopher Columbus to change course and miss Florida; 1806: the first carbon paper was patented by Ralph Wedgewood; 1871: The Great Chicago Fire started, resulting in more than 250 deaths;1892: death of poet Alfred Tennyson; 1922: The first royal radio broadcast took place, with the Prince of Wales; 1949: The German Democratic Republic of East Germany was established; 1986: The Independent was published for the first time.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 7, 2002
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