Photos: World's earliest computers restored to their prime

Want to see pioneering computers that ushered in the information age restored to their prime?

While images of early machines exist, they’re typically decades-old black and white shots or color images of the battered relics they are today.

Now the original designs of computing's electronic ancestors, from one of the world’s first supercomputers to the Pilot Ace -- a machine inspired by father of computing Alan Turing -- have been brought into sharp focus.

The Guide to Computing captures these landmark machines in a series of photographs, taken in the present day and digitally altered to restore the original look of the vintage computers.

The project is a joint effort between UK photographer James Ball and London-based production company INK.

Harwell Dekatron

The Harwell Dekatron, seen above, was also known as the Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computing from Harwell (WITCH).

Created in the 1950s, the WITCH was an early British, relay-based computer that weighed just over 2.5 tons. Able to store a program in memory, it aided engineers building the UK's first nuclear reactor.

A working WITCH is on display at The National Museum of Computing in the UK, and in 2013 it was recognised as the world's oldest working digital computer.

Image: Docubyte / INK

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.