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Grand Central’s Hidden Sub-Basement Has A 102-Year-Old Computer

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TheGothamist takes a look at the 102-year-old computer that lives below Grand Central Station in NYC.

In 1913, what some consider to be the first electric computer, built by Westinghouse, was installed in the sub-basement of Grand Central Terminal. You know, the one Hitler tried to infiltrate? Today, over 100 years later, the computer and its various components are still preserved down there.

Walking around in the still functioning sub-basement (which is referred to as M-42, and is not open to the public) you wouldn’t even notice a computer, since it does not resemble today’s machines. The section it’s still housed in, however, looks more like a museum exhibit than a control room today.

We recently got a behind-the-scenes look at Grand Central, and the MTA’s Dan Brucker took us down to the sub-basement and showed us the computer. He told us that, “Every year, Apple computer chieftains, ultra super chieftain hoo-has, come down here… they go behind that board, and they literally quietly pay homage to what’s behind there. Pay homage to what? The first ever, ever, ever electronic computers.”

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