A lost piece of UK’s early computer EDSAC has been found in the U.S. The part is reportedly an important chunk of the machine, which was built at the Cambridge university in 1940 with the purpose to serve the scientists.
The incident was focused on and brought in front of the public after few scientists reportedly are working to rebuild the machine. The missing part that was recovered from the United States has been donated to contribute towards the rebuilding of the machine.
EDSAC, which in it’s glorious days and after retirement has stood for Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator. It ran it’s first program in May 1949 and benefited several scientists through it’s data generation based on various experiments.
It was decommissioned in the 1950s and the where-about of few parts went missing from the books while they were auctioned. The authorities did not keep track of the people who bought some of the parts. The part that was recently found is called the Chassis 1A and it solved a big part of the riddle. The rebuilding project is led on by Dr. Andrew Herbert at the National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park.
While commenting on the recovered chassis, Dr. Herbert said, “It would be a major task to return this particular chassis to operating condition,
“However, we hope to try to use some of the valves, if they are still functional, in our reconstructed Edsac thus providing a very tangible connection with the original machine.”
The reconstruction of EDSAC is expected to be completed by the end of this year.