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CED in the History of Media Technology


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Walter Cronkite With Univac Computer

1952: UNIVAC Computer Used to Predict the 1952 Election

Remington Rand was the first large-scale manufacturer of computers. The company was founded by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert who in 1946 had designed the giant ENIAC computer. Forty-six UNIVAC's (Universal Automatic Computers) were sold, and the system was used to accurately predict the 1952 election, although the results were not immediately reported by Walter Cronkite because they were not believed to be accurate. Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson was the front-runner in all the advance opinion polls, but by 8:30 p.m. on the East Coast, well before polls were closed in the Western states, UNIVAC projected 100-to-1 odds that Dwight D. Eisenhower would win by a landslide, which is in fact what happened.


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