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Eckert and Mauchly: Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC), 1949

Show Him the Money

Mauchly, Eckert and Goldstine stood before Simon and Veblen, a bundle of nerves. Dr. Veblen listened for a short period of time before cutting off Goldstine. Leaning back in his chair, he addressed the Colonel: "Simon, give Goldstine the money." An initial appropriation of $61,700 was allocated for the first six months of work on the project. At the time Mauchly was thirty-five, and Eckert was just twenty-four. Eckert later commented, "Had John and I been five years older and that much more experienced we might have 'known' that a true electronic computer would not be built (McCartney 61)."

A letter from G. M. Barnes to Franklin Institute Secretary Doctor Frazer indicates that Colonel Simon is "directly in charge of the laboratory there [at Aberdeen] and the device [ENIAC]." You can read the full text of this letter by clicking on the thumbnail at right.

The photograph at right pictures ENIAC engineers and army officials standing in front of the ENIAC. From left to right, they are: J. Presper Eckert, chief engineer; Prof. John G. Brainerd, supervisor; Sam Feltman, chief engineer for Ballistics, Ordnance Department; Capt. Herman H. Goldstine, liaison offices; Dr. John W. Mauchly, consulting engineer.