Tech Women: Meet Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, ENIAC Programmer

Marilyn Meltzer
ENIAC or Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer was the first operational electronic digital computer developed in the United States. Interestingly, all six original programmers of ENIAC were women. One of them was Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer.

Education and Career

  • Marlyn was born in 1922 in Philadelphia and completed her graduation from Temple University in 1942.
  • She was employed by the Moore School of Engineering later in the same year. There, she would perform weather calculations.
  • In 1943, she was hired to perform calculations for ballistics trajectories.

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  • The had really arrived on the scene, when in 1945 she was selected as one of the first group of ENIAC programmers. In fact, she wrote programming for a machine that was 80 feet long and 8 feet tall.  The women chosen for the job were sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland to learn the punch card system for the machine. She was given the name,”Computer”.
  • She resigned from the team in 1947 to get married.
  • Marlyn was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame along with the five other women who programmed ENIAC.

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Passion for volunteering

Marlyn spent an idyllic time volunteering at Shir Ami Library and Sunday school story hour. Moreover, she delivered Meals on Wheels for more than 10 years for the Greenwood House in Ewing, NJ and was an active member of Women for Greenwood House.

Her love for humanitarian causes can be gauged by the fact that during her last four years, she had knitted more than 500 chemotherapy hats for the Susan B. Komen Foundation in Philadelphia.


Meltzer died on December 7, 2008, at Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA. However, she left a legacy of education, hard work and passion.

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