Being the city where many of the country’s firsts came about, the can-do spirit is still very much rife and alive. The spirit of intense excitement of being able to forge ahead in multiple industries and being written repeatedly on pages of our history books has created a society of influencers. Philly handily beat out New York City and Columbus, OK, for the hosting of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, while Republicans will be holding their nominating convention in Cleveland. With its history, knowing nuggets of its decorous past will inevitably lead down the road of politics.
Even with that said, there’s really more to Philly than cheesesteaks, politics, and history. So, without further ado, here are some compelling facts about the city to tickle your noggin.
1. The Birth of the Giant Brain in the 1940sWe’re going on out a limb to say that, apart from the brains in the humans who helped come up with ENIAC, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, the Giant Brain, was the closest we came to an automated system at the time. It was also the first fully electronic computer in the world when it was designed and built at the University of Pennsylvania. The endeavor received enthusiastic response and support from the United States Army which started using the computers right off the bat during WWII. Reputed to be 1,000 faster than any other computers known to man at that time, it was a natural winner.
It was smart enough to out-calculate the best of human beings and was said to be Turing-complete. Just by inputting data (read: numbers), it helped in artillery firing tables for the Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory and was included in the study of thermonuclear weaponry.
You won’t find the computer around anymore, that goes without saying, what with a smartphone in everyone’s hands, we literally have something that outperforms this relic device. But it’s interesting to explore what was successfully salvaged of ENIAC. Visitors who are into computing and science will find original bits and pieces of it at The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, The United States Army Ordnance Museum in Maryland, The U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, The United States Military Academy at West Point in New York, and a little further away, in the London Science Museum.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043
500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Army Field Artillery Museum
Corral Rd, Fort Sill, OK 73503
States Military Academy
Building 606, West Point, New York 10996
(845) 938 4041
Want to enhance your Phillies tailgate? Swing by your local Whole Foods Market for their made-in-house burgers – grill (and tailgate!) ready. pic.twitter.com/QtEYbkwNdz— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 16, 2018
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