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Europe’s first electronic computer was created in Ukraine

The first electronic computing machine was called the Small Electronic Calculating Machine (Russian: MESM)

MESM

Not everyone knows that the first fully operational electronic computer in continental Europe was created in Ukraine over 60 years ago, in 1951. The first electronic computing machine was called the Small Electronic Calculating Machine (Russian: MESM). Despite the humble name, the machine was hardly “small”; it contained 6,000 vacuum tubes, and just barely fit into the left wing of the dormitory in the former monastic settlement Feofania 10 kilometers outside Kyiv. The machine was created at the laboratory of computing technologies of the Institute of Electric Engineering of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, under the supervision of Academician Sergey Alekseevich Lebedev.

It began in the 1930’s. The then-young scientist Lebedev was doing research on power grid stability at the All-Union Electric Engineering Institute in Moscow. His work required difficult calculations, and eventually Lebedev began looking for ways to automate and accelerate the calculation process. Thus, the idea was born to create a machine capable of performing complex calculations.

Read the full history at Euromaidan Press

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