EDSAC Replica Project Aims

The goal of the project is to build an authentic working reconstruction of the EDSAC computer and to run a program on it as was done when the original machine was demonstrated in May 1949.

Our target is to have it running fully by the end of 2016.

The project has the following supporting objectives:

  • To provide a tangible demonstration of the achievements of the Cambridge pioneers.
  • To celebrate the achievements of British scientific and technological contributions to the early development of computing.
  • To assemble archive material relating to this historic machine and capture the knowledge of the few remaining pioneers who developed and used it.
  • To build as authentic a reconstruction as possible taking into account the availability of components and materials and modern safety standards.
  • To undertake the work within the spirit of the designers and technology of the time.
  • To produce a working artefact of exceptional educational value to students and the general public.
  • To be an exemplar of British engineering and encourage new students to take up computing and engineering.
  • To demonstrate the working machine to the public as often as is practical once it is built and commissioned at The National Museum of Computing.
  • To acquire sufficient spares to keep the machine running for the next 25 years.
  • To train a new generation of volunteers, unfamiliar with 1940s valve technology, to run, demonstrate and maintain it for the foreseeable future.