The Colossus gallery is still incomplete and fundraising continues, although the public can once again see the rebuilt Colossus at The National Museum of Computing
Based just down the road from Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, the UK’s famous war time decryption centre, DSL is doing its bit to help raise money to create a new gallery for the world’s first modern computer. Colossus was built by a team at Bletchley Park led by the pioneering engineer Tommy Flowers in 1943 to help crack the encryption codes of German High Command during World War II. There were 10 working machines and each had 2,500 valves that performed the code-cracking calculations.
To raise vital funds to provide an appropriate facility to display Colossus for the general public, The National Museum of Computing is giving companies and individuals the opportunity to sponsor their own valve. The rebuilt and working Colossus is on permanent display again from this month.
During World War II, Bletchley Park was the site of the UK’s Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), where ciphers and codes were decrypted, most importantly those generated by the GermanEnigma and Lorenz machines. It is thought that the high-level intelligence produced at Bletchley Park provided crucial assistance to the Allied war effort and shortened the war by up to two years. The Colossus Computer has now been rebuilt and stands in the same place as Colossus No.9 stood in WW II.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to help preserve and maintain this historical and profound piece of British computing heritage,” said Derek Carpenter, managing director at DSL. “Colossus marked the invention of the modern computer and it is remarkable that today we are able to build handheld machines with the same power.”