The Manchester Atlas is inaugurated

7th December 1962
The Manchester Atlas is inaugurated

The first Atlas was installed at Manchester University. It was inaugurated on 7th December 1962 by Sir John Cockcroft.

The machine was a joint development between Ferranti and Manchester University, led by Professor Tom Kilburn. Atlas was thought to be the world’s most powerful computer of the time.

The machine consisted of 10 shelves each with 50 printed circuit boards. It contained 60,000 transistors and 300,000 diodes.

The Manchester Atlas was operational until 1972.

Professor Steve Furber from The University of Manchester, said of Atlas in 2012:

"Atlas was in many ways the most remarkable of all of the machines designed at Manchester. Fifty years later, the concept of single-level store – what we now call virtual memory – is vital to the operation of everything from smart phones to supercomputers, and we owe that idea to the Atlas designers."

Related information:


  • Sebastian de Ferranti and Tom Kilburn at the Atlas Console
    Credit: © UKRI Science and Technology Facilities Council, via Chilton Computing





The Manchester Atlas is inaugurated

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