Antedating of "Computer"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 26 02:45:23 UTC 2005

On Tue, 25 Jan 2005, James A. Landau wrote:

> Could you please give us the citation?  The earliest I know of is 1943 (from
> Goldstine discussing the ENIAC committee) and there is no reason to conclude
> this was an original coinage.  (I will be happy to repost this cite if anyone
> asks).

1869 Marion Harland _Phemie's Temptation_ 12  Phemie made no reply.  Her
pen was slowly traversing the length of the page, at an elevation of a
quarter of an inch above the paper, her eyes following the course of the
nib, as if it were the index of a patent computer.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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