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The Small-Scale Experiemntal Machine was the world's first stored-program computer. It ran its first program, consisting of 17 instructions, on June 21, 1948.
The machine was not intended to be a practical computer but was instead designed as a testbed for the Williams tube, an early form of computer memory. Although considered 'small and primitive' by the standards of its time, it was the first working machine to contain all the elements essential to a modern electronic computer.
In 1998, a working replica of the SSEM, now on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the running of its first program. Demonstrations of the machine in operation are held regularly at the museum.