Chadderton Historical

Society

Chadderton,

Lancashire

 

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Geoff Tootill

The Chadderton Historical Society is arranging for a Blue

Plaque for this remarkable Chadderton born scientist.

Without the help of Tom Kilburn, Freddie Williams, Geoff Tootill

and his fellow professors, working at Manchester University over

50 years ago, it is unlikely you would be reading this page today

in its present form. They were completely unaware that the project

they were working on, The Manchester Small Scale

Experimental Machine, affectionately known as 'the Baby', would

become so significant an achievement.

Before the electronic computer, information technology used

to be a very slow process using cables and plug boards.

The research was made possible after the Ministry of Aviation

awarded the team a contract to see if the idea of an electronic

computer was feasible.

 

"At 11.am Monday 21st June, 1948 Geoff and Tom Kilburn

knew they'd made history having just witnessed their small

experimental machine, affectionately known as Baby,

execute a stored computer program to calculate the highest

factor of a number successfully." 

 

Between 1948 and 1949 they produced the Manchester

Mark 1 and so created the world's first wholly electronic

fully programmable computer.

The Meteoroligical Office in Bracknell lost no time in taking up

this new invention so enabling its staff to forecast the weather

more accurately

Geoff Tootill subsequently left to join Ferranti to add his

expertise to eventually produce the Ferranti Mark 1.

 

 

 

Geoff Tootill Honoured.

On April 4th 2005, Geoff was honoured with the naming of his own Laboratory, the Tootill Teaching Laboratory in the University School of Computer Science. This laboratory will be based in the Kilburn Building and will be used to train engineers in Computer Science.

 

 

 Photograph reproduced by kind permission of the Manchester Evening News, and Oldham Advertiser.

Geoff Tootill, when contacted was very surprised and said, "To be nominated for a blue plaque is an honour. I heard nothing for 50 years and since then things have happened, including the laboratory named after me".

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 Last Modified: 08/05/2010 Copyright Chadderton Historical Society 1999-2010