The first UNIVAC is sold to the United States Census Bureau
31st March 1951
The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I), designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, was the successor to the ENIAC and the first commercial data-processing computer produced in the United States.
While developing ENIAC, Mauchly met with the United States Census Bureau to discuss non-military applications for computers. In 1946, Mauchly and Eckert were awarded a grant to design a computer for the Census Bureau.
Construction work on UNIVAC I began in 1948 by the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, and was completed after that company's aquisition by Remington Rand. On 31st March 1951 the first UNIVAC was sold to the Census Bureau, to assist with the processing of census results.
Subsequent UNIVAC I machines were sold to customers including the Atomic Energy Commission, General Electric, and the U.S. Air Force.
A UNIVAC machine was used by CBS to successfully predict that Dwight Eisenhower would win the 1952 election based on a sample of just 1% of the voting population.
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