This week arks 70 years since engineers J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly delivered the UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer I) to the United States Census Bureau.
The machine was created with the aim of monitoring the so-called baby boom, and by June 14 that year, 46 units were sold to some companies and to the U.S. government.
This was the first time in history a computer was used for data processing, and not only for equations and complex calculations, which had been the main function until that moment.
Digitization has led to an huge growth in the amount of data that companies must know how to manage effectively and quickly.
We've moved from huge computers to software capable of managing data intuitively, dynamically and securely, including Primeur, an European multinational specializing in Data Integration.
For over 30 years, it has supplied its tools to national and international companies.
The company's CEO Stefano Musso said: "In 70 years, technology has made enormous progress.
"UNIVAC I was certainly the forerunner of this movement, which today is fundamental for managing the operations of large companies in the public and private sectors.
Better data management means a greater increase in productivity, time to market and the overall service of a company, as well as allowing more precise and rapid choices to be made at the business management level."
10 trivia facts to celebrate UNIVAC:
1. J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly ended up on the brink of bankruptcy, as Census Bureau funding was only $400,000 and the total cost of designing and building the UNIVAC I came close to $1 million.
2. The selling price of the first commercial computer was between $1.25 and $1.5 million.
3. It was first used by the United States Census Bureau to monitor the so-called baby boom, the substantial population increase that occurred in America in the 1950s.
4. General Electric was the first private company to use the UNIVAC I for payroll management and inventory control system for the home appliance factory.
5. It was the first computer in history to predict victory in a presidential election. On November 4, 1952, it awarded victory to President Dwight D. Eisenhower with a 1% margin of error.
6. UNIVAC I was the first computer in history to be used for data processing, capable of storing both numbers and letters automatically.
7. It consisted of 5200 tube valves, all installed in the processor.
8. It weighed 13 tons, consumed 125 kW and operated at a speed of 2.25 MHz.
9. It was capable of 455 multiplications per second and could store up to 1000 strings in mercury memory.
10. Each memory element could hold two instructions, an 11-digit number, and signs or 12 alphabetic characters.