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Iconic images of early computers

Last updated on: May 29, 2013 17:47 IST

Iconic images of early computers

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The first electronic digital computers were developed between 1940 and 1945 in the United Kingdom and United States. Originally they were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers. In this era mechanical analog computers were used for military applications, according to Wikipedia.

Let's take a look at some iconic and historic images of computers.

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Image: A photographer holds up an iPad mini in Berlin, Germany.
Photographs: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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Iconic images of early computers

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The first use of the word 'computer', according to Wikipedia, was recorded in 1613 in a book called The yong mans gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait.

Initially it referred to a person who made calculations. At the end of the 19th century, the meaning changed to a machine that carried out computations.

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Image: A group of computers in 1970.
Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images

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A typhoon computer being operated from a control console by technicians of the RCA Laboratories in 1950.

In the background is a portion of several panels which contain thousands of electron tubes and miles of intricate wiring.

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Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images

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In the 1950s, two Soviet scientists Sergei Sobolev and Nikolay Brusentsov designed the Setun, a functional ternary (devices that operated on a base three numbering system of -1, 0, and 1 rather than the conventional binary numbering system) computer, at Moscow State University.

The device was put into limited production in the Soviet Union.

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Image: A group of men look at computers in a shop window in 1955.
Photographs: Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

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A man checks the installation of the Elliott 402 'Electric Brain' at the British Instrument Industries Exhibition at Earl's Court in London on January 27, 1955.

This electronic computer could solve complicated mathematical problems in one hour.

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Photographs: Derek Berwin/Getty Images

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Delegates examine the Automatic Computing Engine, an early computer, at an international symposium entitled 'Mechanisation Of Thought Processes' at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, London, on November 24, 1958.

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Photographs: Ron Case/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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At the control room on the BBC stand at Old Trafford, Ted Dexter former English cricketer and Wendy Wimbush (she was the long-term scorer for BBC's televised cricket coverage) proudly display the new computer on July 15, 1980.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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A computer operator at the 'Leo III' in the Board of Trade computer room on January 1, 1965.

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Photographs: Getty Images

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A man demonstrating one of the suitcase-sized range of computers from the Elliot Automation Group, in Britain.

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Photographs: Getty Images

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The computer room at Barclays bank on June 22, 1966.

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Photographs: Harry Dempster/Getty Images
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Part of Midland Bank's computer complex in Brent, London, on December 16, 1969.

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Photographs: Wesley/Getty Images

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A desktop computer with the monitor and keyboard all in one unit, in the 1970s.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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A woman works at an early model desktop computer made by Servus, in 1970s.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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A small RCA computer with the monitor and keyboard in one unit, alongside a set of headphones, in January 1970.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Foreign Exchange International Division of the Midland Bank showing the computerised operation on January 4, 1978.

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Photographs: R Jones/Evening Standard/Getty Images

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A computer tape machine in the Open University at Walton, near Bletchley in Buckinghamshire, on February 9, 1971.

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Photographs: Peter Trulock/Getty Images

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Three-year-old Dina Gamrath looks at a computer on September 1971.

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Photographs: Erik Holmberg/Keystone/Getty Images

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A man examines a microchip.

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Photographs: Graham Morris/Evening Standard/Getty Images
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An operator in the Information Room at Scotland Yard Police Station in London on October 21, 1977.

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Photographs: Graham Morris/Evening Standard/Getty Images

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Four-year-old Antonia Salmon with one of her birthday presents, a computer which used to belong to her father, on May 8, 1980.

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Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Terry Brown, a computer whizz-kid, examines a print-out on October 23, 1980.

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Photographs: Getty Images

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Michaela Roberts keys in a customer's request on a Natronix computer at Barkers of Kensington, Britain, on November 27, 1980.

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Photographs: Getty Images

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A deaf woman operates a microprocessor telephone by typing the message into the computer then dialling the number to which the message is to be sent on May 15, 1984.

When the call is answered the encoded message is sent down the line by a synthesised voice.

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Photographs: Tom Harley/BIPs/Getty Images
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French stockbrokers at work on March 7, 1985.

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Photographs: Patrice Cotteau/Keystone/Getty Images
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A photography student at Camberwell College Of Art, London, uses a computer to enhance images, on April 26, 1997.

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Photographs: Steve Eason/Getty Images

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Three employees of a computer firm, (from left) Diana Slater, Susan Halliwell and Jenny Fancy, at Royal Ascot races, wearing costumes to demonstrate the new look in computer keyboards on June 15, 1971.

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Photographs: Douglas Miller/Getty Images

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An Apple employee works on an iMac computer at the Apple Manufacturing Plant in Sacramento, California, May 24, 1999.

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Photographs: Getty Images

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair uses Internet at the Houses of Parliament in London on June 7, 1996.

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Photographs: Steve Eason/Getty Images

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A technician monitors the ASCI White computer, the fastest supercomputer in the world, on June 28, 2000, in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The computer, which is capable of 12 trillion calculations per second, will be used by the Department of Energy to simulate nuclear weapons tests.

The RS/6000 SP computer system covers 9,920 square feet of floor space, equivalent to two NBA basketball courts, weighs or 106 tonnes, equivalent to 17 full-size elephants, and requires 1.2 megawatts of power, enough to power 1,000 homes.

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Photographs: Getty Images

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Samantha Tse, five, plays 'Sage' game on an iMac on July 21, 2000, at the Macworld Conference and Expo at the Javits Center in New York City.

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Photographs: Chris Hondros/Newsmakers/Getty Images

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