This Week In Manchester – Baby The First Computer, Is Born

by | Apr 13, 2017 | 1940s, 1950s, History, Manchester, News

What happened in Manchester this week in previous years?

Each week we take a look back into the annals of Manchester history to see what happened this week in previous years.
1949 – World’s first computer is born
Baby, the world’s first computer, was developed by Manchester University. Baby, or Manchester Mark 1, was big! It was more than five metres long, two metres high and weighed in at one tonne. But, for all its bulk, it had less computing power than a modern calculator. It wasn’t until 1951 that the first computer-generated music could be played. The tune? God Save the Queen.
Replica of baby computer

1952 – Ice-breaking champion
The cargo ship Manchester Merchant was the proud winner of the Gold Headed Cane, awarded each year to the first ocean-going vessel to reach Montreal through what remained of the winter ice. The trophy was originally a silk-lined top hat! Manchester liners have won the title 10 times in all.

1954 – Hobson’s Choice is released
The film Hobson’s Choice, shot on location in Salford goes on general release. Director David Lean and lead actor John Mills (below) became familiar figures in Manchester.

The movie tells the story of Henry Hobson, a tight-fisted bootmaker with three grown-up daughters. They all want to marry, but Henry doesn’t want to pay for the weddings! So he does his best to torpedo the relationships. Great fun!

Unmissable pictures like these – and many more like them – feature in Clive Hardy’s latest book Around Manchester in the 1960s, available now from our online shop.