The Franklin Institute Logo
Case Files logo

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

Resignation

With the permission of the Moore School, Mauchly and Eckert applied independently for the ENIAC patent. However, new government policies issued in the aftermath of World War II prompted the University of Pennsylvania to demand that Mauchly and Eckert turn patent rights back over to Penn. Mauchly and Eckert did not oblige, but rather resigned in March of 1946.

The pair formed the Electronic Control Company in Philadelphia, where they used von Neumann's report to develop and build the UNIVAC—the UNIVersal Automatic Computer I. Their first client was the U.S. Census Bureau, and despite the UNIVAC's success in data processing for this and other clients, the high cost of developing a commercial computer led Eckert and Mauchly to sell their company to Remington Rand in February of 1950. Both men nonetheless went on to have successful careers and to be acknowledged for their role in the development of the first computer.

The press release at right details the function of BINAC, describing it as "the world's second all-electronic automatic computer" and indicating that it was demonstrated at the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation by the inventors themselves.