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Oral history interview with Carl Chambers
Chambers, Carl (Charles Babbage Institute, 1977)

Oral history interview with Carl Chambers


Issue Date

Charles Babbage Institute

Oral History

Chambers discusses the initiation and progress of the ENIAC project at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering. He recalls the conditions under which John Mauchly, one of the ENIAC designers, came to the Moore School in 1941, Mauchly's 1943 proposal to the Army for a computer project, the National Defense Research Committee's initial denial of funds because of its commitment to analog computing, and the start of the ENIAC project six months later. Chambers describes the interactions among the ENIAC staff, and focuses on the personalities and working relationships of Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. He recounts their conflicts with project director John Grist Brainerd, and the commercial interests they first envisioned in 1944. Chambers discusses John von Neumann's involvement from 1944 in the EDVAC project, the financial strains that accompanied this project, and the patent disagreement that led Eckert and Mauchly to resign from the faculty. He concludes with his views on the importance of the 1946 Moore School summer course, "Theory and techniques for design of electronic digital computers," now known as the "Moore School Lectures" in disseminating computer technology.

Appears in Collection(s)

Other Identifier(s)
other: OH 7

Previously Published Citation
Carl Chambers, OH 7. Oral history interview by Nancy B. Stern, 30 November 1977, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Transcript, 45 pp.

Suggested Citation
Chambers, Carl. (1977). Oral history interview with Carl Chambers. Charles Babbage Institute. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.