were fed into the machine on paper tape, cards, or by
switches. The numbers on which the instructions were to
operate were stored in registers. Mark I was an electromechanical
machine. Its basic operations were performed by mechanical
parts which were controlled electrically by about 3,000
relays. Although obsolete by the time it went into operation
at Harvard in 1944, Mark I operated for more than 15 years
and produced valuable mathematical tables.
who was familiar with the work of Babbage once remarked,
"If Babbage had lived seventy-five years later, I
would have been out of a job."
Mark I was solving U. S. Navy math problems, plans were
underway for the machine that was to make the breakthrough
from automatic processing to electronic operation.