Collection Additions: John Vincent Atanasoff

In May of 2018 work was completed to add materials to the John Vincent Atanasoff digital collection. The additional items include materials documenting his work on the Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC) (primarily correspondence and photographs which weren’t online previously), as well as a selection of his notes and draft materials relating to his invention ideas beyond the ABC. We added these invention materials to give people the opportunity to see his ideas beyond the ABC and some of his thought-processes during the idea stage.

John Vincent Atanasoff was born in 1903. Atanasoff graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1925 from the University of Florida in Gainesville; shortly after, he accepted a teaching position at Iowa State College. Atanasoff received his master’s degree from Iowa State in 1926. Atanasoff began developing concepts for an electronic computing machine in 1937 while a faculty member at Iowa State College (Iowa State University). It was shortly thereafter that he, along with graduate student Clifford Berry, started work on the world’s first electronic digital computer. The computer would later be named the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC).

The original digital collection contained images and documents related to John Vincent Atanasoff, Clifford Berry, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC), and the court case that established the ABC as the first electronic digital computer.

Here are a few of the new items added to the digital collection:

Black and white image of John Atanasoff giving a lecture

Photo of J.V. Atanasoff giving a lecture.

Scan of a sketch for a seeder

Design details and sketches for a seeder

Scan of the circuitry for the ABC computer

Photo of Circuitry for the Atanasoff-Berry Computer

Scan of the diagram for the ABC computer

Diagram of Atanasoff-Berry Computer, 1985

You can find the entire digital collection here. Enjoy!