SEAC Boots Up

Samuel Alexander and Ralph Slutz

Two of SEAC's inventors, Samuel Alexander (left) and Ralph Slutz, look over one of SEAC’s early outputs written on ticker tape.

April 01, 1950

With a speed of 1 megahertz and 6,000 bytes of storage, the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC) was the world’s first internally programmed digital computer and the fastest machine of its kind when it was built. During its 13-year tenure, SEAC calculated sampling plans for the Census Bureau, wave functions for helium and lithium, stresses in aircraft structures, and produced the world’s first digital image.