Ferranti Mark 1 delivered to Manchester University
12th February 1951
In 1948 the UK government signed a contract with Ferranti to build a commercial computer based on the Manchester Mark 1. The resulting machine was called the Ferranti Mark 1, sometimes also known as the Manchester Electronic Computer or the Manchester Ferranti.
The first Ferranti Mark 1 to be built was delivered to Manchester University in February 1951. This makes the Ferranti Mark 1 the first commercially available general-purpose computer, beating the UNIVAC I by a month, as it was delivered to the United States Census Bureau in March 1951.
The main improvements of the Ferranti Mark 1 over the Manchester Mark 1 were a larger memory, a faster multiplier, and more instructions available to programmers.