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Oral history interview with J. Presper Eckert
Eckert, J. Presper (John Presper), 1919- (Charles Babbage Institute, 1977)

Oral history interview with J. Presper Eckert

Issue Date

Charles Babbage Institute

Oral History

Eckert, a co-inventor of the ENIAC, discusses its development at the University of Pennsylvania and the interaction of the personnel at the Moore School. He describes the difficulty in securing patent rights for the ENIAC and the problems posed by John G. Brainerd, the first director of the project, and by the circulation of John von Neumann's 1945 First Draft of the Report on EDVAC, which placed the ENIAC inventions in the public domain. Eckert claims that von Neumann had an interest in keeping these ideas from becoming patented, and deaccentuates von Neumann's role in the development of the EDVAC. Eckert also discusses the ethical questions that were raised by the corporate funding of the University of Pennsylvania's computer research, and relates the reasons leading to his and John Mauchly's resignation from the faculty.

Appears in Collection(s)

Other Identifier(s)
other: OH 13

Previously Published Citation
J. Presper Eckert, OH 13. Oral history interview by Nancy B. Stern, 28 October 1977, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Transcript, 72 pp.

Suggested Citation
Eckert, J. Presper (John Presper), 1919-. (1977). Oral history interview with J. Presper Eckert. 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.