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By Kat Dibbits on

In pictures: Baby at 70

On June 21 2018 we celebrated the 70th birthday of the Small Scale Experimental Machine, aka "Baby". Here's a look back in photos at some highlights of the day. 
At 11.15 – the same time as Baby was first run – the volunteering team at the Museum of Science and Industry flicked the switch to run the computer’s original programme.

Visitors to the Baby’s birthday celebrations saw not only the machine itself in action but also had the opportunity to see archive material on display and learn more from the University of Manchester about the latest cutting-edge developments in computer tech.

Archive material was on display from the museum’s collection of documents relating to early computing.
Peter Tootill, the son of Geoff Tootill, one of the engineers who worked on the original Baby, hands over a capacitor used by his father while building the machine. Geoff’s family also donated some circuit diagrams to our archive.
The capacitor was used to test the Baby during building and identify problems, and was usually kept in the pocket of Geoff’s labcoat, which is already on display in the museum.
The media were particularly interested in the event. Here, the BBC’s Stuart Flinders interviews one of the museum volunteers.
The volunteers were on hand to answer any questions from visitors throughout the day.
Professor Dai Edwards, who was a research student at the University of Manchester and worked as part of the team who built the Baby.
Dame Mary Archer, Prof Dai Edwards and Sally MacDonald, Director of the Museum of Science and Industry. Dame Mary, who is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum Group, introduced the evening lecture on the origins of computing in Manchester.
Dame Mary introducing the Manchester Lecture, which was organised by Manchester Lit & Phil.
The Lit & Phil’s Manchester Lecture was a sold-out success.
Dr James Sumner, from the University of Manchester, took the audience through the history of computing.

Baby’s birthday celebrations continue this weekend with hands-on family fun at Pi: The Computer Age. Click here to find out more.

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