News Service


Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- An authentic working replica of the first electronic digital computer will be on display at the Spencer Community School District central office from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 13. Iowa State officials including Del Bluhm, who directed the construction of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) replica, will be on hand to answer questions. The public is invited to view the replica.

The ABC replica is a working model of the first electronic digital computer. The original ABC was invented by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry at Iowa State from 1939-42. Work on the original ABC was interrupted by World War II. The ABC was never patented and eventually scavenged for parts. The replica was built to honor Atanasoff and Berry. The replica was constructed over the past three years by a team of scientists, technicians and students at Ames Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy facility at Iowa State.

Spencer is the eighth stop on the replica's Iowa tour. It has been displayed in Ames, Ottumwa, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, the Quad Cities, Sioux City and Waterloo. Its formal unveiling was Oct. 8, 1997, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The ABC replica and the public displays are financed by public and private donations as part of the ISU Foundation's $300 million capital campaign, Campaign Destiny.

- 30 -

Iowa State homepage

University Relations,
Copyright © 1997, Iowa State University, all rights reserved
Revised 5/6/98