The Manchester Machines
The SSEM, The Manchester Mark I and The Ferranti Mark I
The Manchester Mark I
image courtesy of Computer 50
This project focuses on three machines that were developed at the University of Manchester in the mid-1900s, which are widely regarded as being the first machines to demonstrate and implement the stored program concept for computing. These machines are the Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), the Manchester Mark I and the Ferranti Mark I. In order to better understand how these machines came to be, we will first explore the main people who helped to bring this project to life with their work on the original SSEM, Sir F.C. Williams and Tom Kilburn. This will be followed by a glimpse at the memory technology that was developed by these two people known as “Williams Tubes” that allowed the implementation of the stored program concept to become feasible. We will then explore the SSEM, the Manchester Mark I and the Ferranti Mark I machines each in more detail. We’ll conclude with a look at some of the other people who also made contributions to the various Mark I projects as well.
Created by Reginald Tiangha for CPSC 509