20th Century: 1948

History of Television in 1948:

The television begins to divert radio audiences.

The first broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show and Texaco Star Theater

IBM finished the SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator). It was the first computer to modify a stored program.

The Birkbeck ARC, the first of three machines developed at Birkbeck, the University of London by Andrew Booth and Kathleen Booth, officially came online on this date. The control was entirely electromechanical and the memory was based on a rotating magnetic drum. This was the first rotating drum storage device in existence.

Manchester Baby was built at the University of Manchester. It ran its first program on this date. It was the first computer to store both its programs and data in RAM, as modern computers do. By 1949 the ‘Baby’ had grown and acquired a magnetic drum for more permanent storage, and it became the Manchester Mark 1.

ANACOM from Westinghouse was an AC-energized electrical analog computer system used up until the early 1990s for problems in mechanical and structural design, fluidics, and various transient problems.

IBM introduced the ‘604’, the first machine to feature Field Replaceable Units (FRUs), which cut down-time as entire pluggable units can simply be replaced instead of troubleshot.

Edwin H. Land introduces the first Polaroid instant camera.

Top Song of 1948: Pee Wee Hunt  –  Twelfth Street Rag

Images of 1948:

Popular crime magazine – 1948
The incredible Ginger Rogers – 1948
Never heard of it… – 1948

 

20th Century: 1945

1945

Konrad Zuse developed the first higher-level programming language called Plankalkül.

Vannevar Bush developed the theory of the memex, a hypertext device linked to a library of books and films.

National Broadcasting Company (NBC) begins the first regularly scheduled television network service in the United States.

Arthur C. Clarke purposes a geosynchronous satellite.

The patent was filed for the Harvard Mark I digital computer on February 8, 1945.

The term bug as a computer bug was termed by Grace Hopper when programming the MARK II.

The first ballpoint pen went on sale in New York for $12.50 on October 30, 1945.

National Broadcasting Company (NBC) begins the first regularly scheduled television network service in the United States.

The war is over…

Top U.S. Film of 1945:

Top U.S. Song of 1945 – Rum and Coca-Cola by the Andrew Sisters.

 

Images of 1945:

Clark Gable 1945 – Movie studio / Public domain
Joan Crawford – Studio publicity still / Public domain

 

20th Century: 1943

1943

FCC terminates all American television broadcasting because of the war; DuMont petitions FCC to resume broadcasting and receives approval.

Max Newman, Wynn-Williams, and their team at the secret Government Code and Cypher School (‘Station X’), Bletchley Park, Bletchley, England, completed the ‘Heath Robinson’. This was a specialized counting machine used for cipher-breaking, not a general-purpose calculator or computer, but a logic device using a combination of electronics and relay logic. It read data optically at 2000 characters per second from two closed loops of paper tape, each typically about 1000 characters long. It was significant since it was the forerunner of Colossus.

Williams and Stibitz completed the ‘Relay Interpolator’, later called the ‘Model II Relay Calculator’. This was a programmable calculator; again, the program and data were read from paper tapes.

The Colossus was built, by Dr. Thomas Flowers at The Post Office Research Laboratories in London, to crack the German Lorenz (SZ42) cipher. It contained 2400 vacuum tubes for logic and applied a programmable logical function to a stream of input characters, read from punched tape at a rate of 5000 characters a second. Colossus was used at Bletchley Park during World War II.

A Colossus Mark 2 computer being operated by Dorothy Du Boisson (left) and Elsie Booker (right). Colossus was the world’s first practical electronic digital information processing machine – a forerunner of today’s computers. 1943 – Public Domain

Dan Noble with Motorola designs a “Walkie Talkie” the first portable FM two-way radio that required a backpack that weighed 35 pounds.

The world’s first operational nuclear reactor is switched on at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Microwave radar begins operating in England putting an end to night bombing.

The first crystal clock is installed at the Greenwich Royal Observatory. Is has ten times the accuracy.

The top U.S film of the year:

Bill Gold / Public domain

Highest-grossing U.S. Actor/Actress:

Betty Grable’s 42 films grossed over 100 Million. Frank Powolny / Public domain

Top U.S. Song:

Paper Doll – Mills Brothers

Images of 1943

Co-operative Youth Summer Schools – Walking Around Windermere, England 1943, Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer / Public domain
Judy Garland 1943 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Public domain

 

20th Century: 1942

1942

Atanasoff and Berry completed a special-purpose calculator for solving systems of simultaneous linear equations, later called the ‘ABC’ (‘Atanasoff–Berry Computer’). This had 60 50-bit words of memory in the form of capacitors (with refresh circuits—the first regenerative memory) mounted on two revolving drums. The clock speed was 60 Hz, and the addition took 1 second. For secondary memory, it used punched cards, moved around by the user. The holes were not actually punched in the cards but burned. The punched card system’s error rate was never reduced beyond 0.001%, and this was inadequate. Atanasoff left Iowa State after the U.S. entered the war, ending his work on digital computing machines.

Konrad Zuse developed the S1, the world’s first process computer, used by Henschel to measure the surface of wings.

Kodacolor, the first color film that yields negatives for making chromogenic color prints on paper. Roll films for snapshot cameras only, 35 mm not available until 1958.

December 2, 1942

Enrico Fermi designed and created the world’s first Nuclear Reactor.

FCC terminates all American television broadcasting because of the war; DuMont petitions FCC to resume broadcasting and receives approval.

Feb 27-28

British Army physicists James Stanley Hey detected radio waves thought to be a jamming signal from the Germans turned out to be radio waves generated by a solar flare from the sun.

Voice of America begins broadcasting.

Top Movie – How Green Was My Valley

“Copyright by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. MCMXLI” – Scan via Heritage Auctions. Cropped from the original image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86243596

Top Song – Moonlight Cocktail by The Glenn Miller Orchestra

 

Images of 1942

WWII Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corp. Burbank California. Public Domain

Data 1942

Average wages per year $1,880.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents.

Popular Car in the US and apparently in the Netherlands:

1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, photographed at Zeeland, The Netherlands