Collection of documents relating to Ferranti Ltd's computer projects. Most of the collection (FER/C) comprises working papers and reports from the 1940s to the 1970s relating to the Mark I, MArk II and Atlas computers.
National Archive for the History of Computing: Ferranti Ltd Collection
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Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
A Ferranti Computer Group was set up in 1949 at the factory in Moston under J.D. Carter, manager of the Instrument Department, to make the computer designed by Professor F.C. Williams of Manchester University. Henceforth, in close collaboration with Manchester University, Ferranti produced a string of technically successful machines: the Pegasus, Mercury, Perseus, Sirius and Orion. Development work culminated in the ATLAS computer which, when it was delivered in December 1962, was considered to be the fastest computer in the world. Ferranti also installed the first computer in Canada (the Ferut), and its Canadian subsidiary (Ferranti-Packard) developed the FP6000 (the rights on which were later acquired by ICT). The commercial returns, however, were less satisfactory and in September 1963 Ferranti sold its computer interests to ICT. The firm, however, continued its development work on computerised control and command systems.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to any accredited reader.
Manchester University Computer Science Department, courtesy Professor D.B.G. Edwards. Material collected by Professor Simon Lavington. Ferranti Packard documents donated by John M. Chapman.
S. Lavington, Early British Computers (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1980).