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Museum of Science and Industry

Meet Baby

Runs every Tuesday and Wednesday
Price
Free
Event times
10:00 - 15:00

The Manchester Small Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), nicknamed the 'Baby' computer, was the world's first computer to store and run a program. Watch volunteers put our replica of Baby to work, and see how far computing has come since 1948.

Our replica was built in 1998 from original parts to mark the 50th anniversary of the world's first stored-program computer. As the original no longer exists, this is the closest you'll get to an important piece of computing history, which took place right here in Manchester.

See our replica of the Baby computer on display in the Revolution Manchester gallery

Did you know?

  • The original Baby computer was built at the University of Manchester using technology developed for Second World War radar and communications equipment.
  • The first program the Baby ran was a test for prime numbers and could run from seconds to hours, according to the size of the trial number. The historic first run took just a few seconds.
  • The Baby was just a prototype, but it led to the development of the Ferranti Mark I, the world's first commercially available computer.
  • Our replica has less computing power than a modern calculator, yet is 5.2 metres long, 2.2 metres high and weighs 1 tonne.

Our volunteers put Baby to work

We can't always demonstrate Baby at the advertised times because of volunteer availability. If Meet Baby is an important part of your visit, please check the event is running by calling 0161 832 2244.

Ages 12+
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