The Z3

Z3 at Deutsches MuseumMay 12, 1941

German engineer Konrad Zuse unveils the Z3, now generally recognized as the first fully functional, programmable computer. Because Germany was fighting World War II, not much was known about the Z3 until after the war. It was an electromechanical computer so it was not the world’s first fully electronic computer although plans were made to replace the mechanical relays with fully electronic switches. However, funding was denied by the German government because the Z3 was not considered important to the war effort. The Z3 was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943 but a fully functioning replica was built in 1961 and is on display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Because the Z3 was the first programmable, fully automatic computer, some people consider Konrad Zuse the inventor of the modern computer.