History of Aberystwyth
1940-1960


1941

May 12: Programmable

Z3 the 1st programmable computer (Its switching elements are electromechanical relays) in Germany

1943

December: Colossus

Colossus the 1st all-electronic programmable computer (Its switching elements are electronic vacuum tubes) in England. Programming was done by rewiring a plugboard. It was developed to help crack, war time, secret codes.

1945

January 11: Caradoc Evans

Living locally Welsh novelist and playwright Caradoc Evans died.

July 16: Atom Bomb

Atom bomb tested

July 27: Dodgy Ice-Cream

An outbreak of typhoid feaver in Aberystwyth that killed 4 people and put many dozens in the local hospitals was traced to a single barrel of locally made ice-cream.

August 6: Atom Bomb

Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

August 9: Atom Bomb

Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

October 8: Microwave

Cooking using microwaves patented by Percy Spencer of the American military contractor called the Raytheon Company. It would take over 20 years to refine the device into a domestic product.

1947

December 22: Transistor

1st transistor built by Bardeen, Shockley, Brattain in USA

January-February: Cold

1948

June 21: Baby Runs!

'Baby' the 1st computer to store both data and programs in its main memory runs its 1st program

January: National Railway

Railways were nationalised

April: National Electric

Electricity suppliers were nationalised

July 5: NHS

Launch of National Health Service

1950

World Population


-6000
0.01
-4000
0.02
-2000
0.03
-1000
0.05
- 500
0.10
1
0.20
1000
0.31
1750
0.79
1800
0.98
1850
1.26
1900
1.65
1950
2.52
1955
2.76
1960
2.98
1965
3.33
1970
3.69
1975
4.07
1980
4.43
1985
4.83
1990
5.26
1995
5.67
2000
6.07
2005
6.45
2010
6.89
in Billions

1951

Census

Population 9315 Inhabited houses 2471

Panty'

Pantycelyn hall opened - extended in 1953 & 1967[17]

1952

IC

Integrated Circuit devised by Geoffrey Dummer in England (cf working device in 1958)

Trackball

Computer trackball invented in Canada (cf the computer mouse of 1963)

Video Games

1st Computer Video Game (noughts and crosses) at Cambridge University in England

Eisteddfod

National Eisteddfod held in Aberystwyth

December 5-9: Big Smoke

A trapped layer of air over London does not permit the pollution to escape. Freezing fog made thicker every day by the trapped chimney fumes causes breathing difficulties for many vulnerable people. The Great Smog causes 4000 excess deaths during these 4 days and another 8000 excess death in the following few months.

1953

DNA

Although isolated over 80 years earlier the structure of the biological polymer in the center of cells was not known. Borrowing heavily on other peoples experimental results J. Watson and F. Crick were able to find the structure of DNA.

Local Principal

Goronwy Rees becomes the only local to have been appointed Aberystwyth university principal.

Grass

Founded in 1919, the Welsh Plant Breading Station moves out of the university to its own site (Plas Gorgerddan) 4km north of Aberystwyth.
(In 2008 it would become part of the university again.)

1954

February 10: Disk Drive

The IBM successfully tests a disk drive

1955

World Population


-6000
0.01
-4000
0.02
-2000
0.03
-1000
0.05
- 500
0.10
1
0.20
1000
0.31
1750
0.79
1800
0.98
1850
1.26
1900
1.65
1950
2.52
1955
2.76
1960
2.98
1965
3.33
1970
3.69
1975
4.07
1980
4.43
1985
4.83
1990
5.26
1995
5.67
2000
6.07
2005
6.45
2010
6.89
in Billions

February: Cold

Chess

British Chess Championships held in Aberystwyth.

August 8: Queen

The Queen arrives in Aberystwyth to open the - finally - completed National Library of Wales and the Milford Laboratories of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station.[7] (The National Library of Wales has been added to several times over the years as shelf space runs out).

1956

February: Cold

Clock

Town Clock condemned as unsafe and pulled down. Many town's people remember that it proved much more difficult to demolish than expected. (The clock mechanism is now in the Museum)

Town Clock
Old Town Clock

1957

October 4: Satellite

From Kazakhstan the Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1 the 1st man made satellite.

October 8-12: Radiation

Whilst transmuting materials for a H-bomb a Nuclear reactor catches fire at Windscale in England. Officially played down at the time, this would remain world's worst nuclear accident for 22 years.

Principal

The university principal, locally born Goronwy Rees, is forced to resign.

July 26: Royal Welsh Flood

Royal Welsh Show held at Blaendolau is flooded 1m deep

September 8: Fire

Fire damages town hall - the rebuilt town hall is the one we have today

1957-62

Hydroelectric

Building of Rheidol hydroelectric power station.

1959

September 14: Reach for the Moon

The Soviet spacecraft Luna 2 becomes the 1st man made object to reach the moon

October 7: Dark Side of the Moon

The Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 got the 1st images of the dark side of the moon

Biology

Biology building opened on Penglais campus[17]