On this day in 1951 MESM formally recognized
Sunday, 25 December 2011

Today's Official Google Blog has alerted us to the fact that it is just sixty years ago , on December 25, 1951 that the  Soviet Academy of Sciences in Ukraine finally granted formal recognition to Sergei Lebedev’s pioneering MESM project.

As early as 1947 Sergei Lebedev had set up a secret laboratory and set about building a small computer called MESM (МЭСМ, Малая Электронно-Счетная Машина)  Malaya Elektronno-Schetnaya Mashina or Small Electronic Calculating Machine. It was the earliest, fully operational electronic computer in the Soviet Union - and indeed continental Europe but getting it accepted was far from an easy process.

 

MESM

МЭСМ - Malaia Elektronnaia Schetnaia Mashina

 

The story is told in detail in I Programmer's history article, Sergei Lebedev and Early Russian computers and in this video Boris Malinovsky, who worked on MESM and is now a leading expert on Soviet-era computing, talks about  Lebedev and MESM:

    

 

If you don't speak Russian click the Caption button for subtitles.

Further Reading

Sergei Lebedev and Early Russian computers

 

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