Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Sept. 26, 1997

ABC gains recognition

by Skip Derra

The Atanasoff Berry Computer (ABC) is getting some recognition. USA Today's Kevin Maney devoted his Sept. 18 column to the question of which came first -- the ABC or ENIAC. A coming issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education will include a story about the ABC replica project and replica team member John Gustafson.

The original ABC was designed and operated from 1939 to 1942. John V. Atanasoff, an Iowa State professor of physics and math, and graduate student Clifford Berry didn't receive much credit for inventing the first digital electronic computer. But the replica team is working to change that.

There will be an unveiling and demon-stration of the ABC replica at a 10 a.m. press conference Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

After the Washington event, the ABC replica will tour Iowa.

"The reconstruction of something like this is such great history," Gustafson said. "To reach back 57 years and see how far we have come [in computing] is amazing. And it feels like we're doing something intellec-tually 'very right' to give credit to the men, these pioneers, who really started the whole thing."

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