Here’s the U.S. government’s press release announcing the first electronic general-purpose computer, the ENIAC (“Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer”), on February 15, 1946:
Bureau of Public Relations
FOR RELEASE SATURDAY A.M. , FEBRUARY 16, 1946
For Radio Broadcast after 7:00 P.M. , EST, February 15, 1946
A new machine that is expected to revolutionize the mathematics of engineering and change many of our industrial design methods was announced today by the War Department.
Designed and constructed for the Ordnance Department at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania by a pioneering group of Moore School experts, this machine is the first all-electronic general purpose computer
ever developed. It is capable of solving many technical and scientific problems so complex and difficult that all previous methods of solution were considered impractical.
This mathematical robot, known as the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), is the invention of Dr. J. W. Mauchly and Mr. J. Presper Eckert, Jr., both of the Moore School. Begun in 1943 at the request of the Ordnance Department
to break a mathematical bottleneck in ballistic research, its peacetime uses extend to all branches of scientific and engineering work.
The ENIAC is capable of computing 1000 times faster than the most advanced general-purpose calculating machine previously built. The electronic methods of computing used in the ENIAC make it possible to solve in hours problems which would take years on a mechanical machine–a time so long as to make such work impractical. Containing close to l8,000 vacuum tubes in its mechanism, the new machine is a giant of electronic precision. It occupies a room 30 by 50 feet and weighs 30 tons.
Source: full-text of War Department press release
the-eniac.com, a website devoted to this computer