Updated: 10/04/2017 by Computer Hope

Short for Universal Automatic Computer, the UNIVAC, a trademark of the Unisys corporation, is an electrical computer containing thousands of vacuum tubes. It utilized punch cards and switches for inputting data and punch cards for outputting and storing data. The UNIVAC I was developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly and released in 1951. The UNIVAC II and III was later released with various models, such as the 418, 490, 491, 1100, 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, 1105, 1106, 1107, and 1108. Many of these models were only owned by a few companies or government agencies.

UNIVAC in a large room.

The picture above shows the UNIVAC computer. As shown in the picture, it occupied an entire room and required multiple people to operate.


In 1952, UNIVAC predicted the outcome of the US presidential election and helped introduce people to the computer.

Computer abbreviations, ENIAC, Hardware terms, Vacuum tube