University of Manchester

Development of the computer

In June 1948 at The University of Manchester, ‘the Baby’ became the first computer in the world to run a program electronically stored in its memory.

Building on this landmark event, the University went on to attract the world’s best minds to this new field of science.

These included Alan Turing, the Enigma code-breaker who joined Manchester in 1948. He helped take the story on to the next stage with the development of the Manchester University Mark 1, which itself became the Ferranti Mark 1, the world’s first commercially manufactured computer.

Seventy years on, the legacy of this work in Manchester is fundamental to billions of lives.

Further reading