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J. Presper Eckert
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Computer Tech
    (April 9, 1919-June 3, 1995)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was John Adam Presper Eckert, Jr.
    With John Mauchly, designed the early computers ENIAC (1945) and UNIVAC (1950)
    With Mauchly, founded the first commercial computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (1946)
    Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2002)
    He was driven to elementary school by a chauffeur.
    ENIAC was such a power hog that when it was turned on, lights throughout Philadelphia reportedly dimmed.
    He and Mauchly left the University of Pennsylvania in a dispute over whether they or the school should own the patent rights to ENIAC.
    Eckert-Mauchly was repeatedly in financial trouble, eventually forcing its sale to Remington Rand.
    As a result of a lawsuit between Honeywell and Sperry Rand, his patent for ENIAC was declared invalid (1973).
    He recieved his first patent at age 21 while in college, and eventually earned 85 more patents.
    ENIAC could complete in 30 seconds calculations that took 20 hours for a person with a mechanical calculating machine.
    UNIVAC was the first computer sold commerically and the first to use magnetic tape instead of punch cards to store data.
    The original UNIVAC went on display at the Smithsonian Institute.
    He noted about one influence of his computers, 'Every science fiction machine since has had flashing lights all over it.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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