THROWBACK THURSDAY: Two Computer-Related Firsts on the Same Day, 36 Years Apart

The IBM SSEC, 1948

On January 24, 1948, the “first true computer,” the IBM SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator) was introduced. The machine included 13,500 vacuum tubes and 21,000 electronic relays and was the first device capable of handling both data and instructions. It occupied a space one-half the size of a football field, at IBM headquarters in Manhattan.



original Macintosh


Thirty-six years later to the day, on January 24, 1984, the first Macintosh personal computer was introduced by Apple in the now momentous Superbowl XVIII television commercial, “Big Brother.”

The news media proclaimed the commercial the highlight of the game, and the then 29-year-old Steve Jobs boldly proclaimed that the new Macintosh would change the world of computing.