Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on December 18?
Konrad Zuse with a replica of the Z1.
...1995: He had been one of the most important computer pioneers: Konrad Zuse who primarily was known for his early calculation machines; in 1937 he had assembled the Z1, a mechanical calculating unit with the operating speed of one Hertz. The machine and the construction plans were destroyed in World War II. But more important is Zuse's third model which was called Z3 and went into service in May 1941: The machine still wasn't electrical, but calculated binary and was even programmable via punched cards. Thus the Z3 is regarded as the first functional digital computing machine, so in a way as the first computer - even if this title is sometimes connected to the American ENIAC. But nevertheless: Zuse did pioneer work in the field of computers. After World War II the Zuse KG produced the first commercial computer in form of the Z4. In 1995 Zuse was awarded with the Federal Cross of Merit for his life's work and died on December 18, 1995 at the age of 85.