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  • The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, called Mark I by Harvard University’s staff, was a general purpose electro-mechanical computer that was used in the war effort during the last part of World War II. The original concept was presented to IBM by Howard Aiken in November 1937. After a feasibility study by IBM’s engineers, Thomas Watson Sr. personally approved the project and its funding in February 1939. Howard Aiken had started to look for a company to design and build his calculator in early 1937. After two rejections, he was shown a demonstration set that Charles Babbage’s son had given to Harvard university 50 years earlier. This led him to study Babbage and to add references of the analytical engine to his proposal ; the resulting machine “brought Babbage’s principles of the analytical engine almost to full realization, while adding important new features.” The ASCC was developed and built by IBM at their Endicott plant and shipped to Harvard in February 1944. It began computations for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships in May and was officially presented to the university on August 7, 1944.

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