Built in 1951, the WITCH began life as the Harwell Dekatron Computer and was used to calculate logarithmic tables for the construction of the Harwell Nuclear Reactor, providing an automated solution to labour intensive work which had previously been carried out on mechanical calculators. In 1956, the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire College of Technology won ownership of the WITCH in a competition; this is the root of its current name, which stands for Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell (WITCH).


  • Title: The WITCH
  • Creator: Ted Cooke-Yarborough
  • Date Created: 1951
  • Location: The National Museum of Computing (Buckinghamshire, UK)
  • Location Created: Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment (Oxfordshire, UK)

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