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The Manchester Baby replica

The Mancester Baby replica
The Mancester Baby
housed in the Futures Gallery,
the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

84 Kb Image

The Manchester Baby was recreated in time for the 50th anniversary celebrations by a team of volunteers led by Chris Burton. The project, sponsored by ICL, started in 1994 and the construction work was carried out in the Department of Computer Science at Manchester, actually about 100 yards from where the original machine was built.

The rebuild was difficult because, although laboratory notebooks and some circuit details were available, there were no arrangement drawings or complete circuit diagrams of the machine. The original had been an experimental set up and was built, modified and rebuilt as the need arose.

In order to build a replica which not only functioned, but also looked like the original, it was necessary to work from the few photographs of the baby which existed. Using these and aided by some of the original team members, the necessary engineering drawings were produced to enable the replica to be created.

By the winter of 1997, the machine was functionally complete and programs could be run. During February of the following year, it was dismantled and then reassembled in the historic 1830 railway warehouse which is to be its permanent home at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

The Baby is on show and is run on a regular basis, (currently once a week). It is well worth a visit.

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Images and Text Copyright © 2002 A. Audsley, All Rights Reserved