Accession No


Brief Description

two chassis from the EDSAC 2 computer, plus a quantity of archival material (notes, photos and slides) relating to EDSAC and Cambridge post-war computing, English, 1958 - 1965


England; Cambridge



computer technology

Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1958

Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1965

Inscription Date


metal (steel, aluminium, copper); plastic; glass


length 1010mm; width 91 mm; height 180mm

Special Collection


Donated by the Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey on or before 30/01/2003. Donated to Denny Abbey but was never accessioned into their collection.


5901.1: EDSAC II
No. 22
5901.2: EDSAC II
No. 4

Description Notes

Two long metal chassis frames containing a number of glass valves. The valves are plugged into the chassis and connected by spring mounted terminals. Each unit has lines of resistors and capacitors mounted into the base below the valves. The glass valves themselves are vacuum tubes containing a heated cathode element in each. Each chassis has space for 60 valves. At the end of each chassis is a painted metal front (chassis 1 is painted blue and chassis 2 red). On the front is both chassis’ are a metal T-handle which when twisted turns a bar which runs down the length of the chassis and controls a large turned metal screw at the back end. On the front of each there is also a plastic name-plate with the chassis name and number. There is a smaller white plastic plate screwed underneath which had writing on in pen which has since become unreadable. Another white plastic plate is screwed to the top of the chassis at the front end of each.

Chassis 1 (5901.1) has 48 extant glass valves, it appears that several of the plugs which are missing valves never had them as they are not wired in from the base.

Chassis 2 (5901.2) has 45 extant glass valves, like chassis 1 some appear to have never been wired in. Several of the glass valves have become unwired as the extendable spring terminals have come off.

The Museum also holds archival material (photos, notes and slides) associated with EDSAC and Cambridge post-war computing that came in separately to this object (E106).


Mikey McGovern; 'The EDSAC and computing in Cambridge'; Explore Whipple Collections online article; Whipple Museum of the History of Science; University of Cambridge:



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