March 30, 2023

Remembering the Eniac Six

The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer — the world’s first non-mechanical, general-purpose computer — was unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering on February 15, 1946.

John Mauchly and John Presper Eckert, the hardware engineers who designed the computer (known as ENIAC), have been justly celebrated as technology pioneers. Much less well known are the six women who programmed ENIAC and truly brought it to life: Betty Holberton, Jean Jennings Bartik, Kay McNulty, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman, and Frances Bilas Spencer.