Konrad Zuse (22.6.1910-18.12.1995)
Konrad Zuse studied construction engineering in Berlin. Tired of repeating calculation procedures he built a first mechanical calculator, the Z1 (1938). Then he developed from waste material, together with a few friends in the living room of his parents, the world's first electronic, programmable calculator, the Z3 (1941). The original was unfortunately destroyed later during the war. A reconstructed model can nowadays be seen at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
Knowing that his invention could do a week's work of a whole calculation department within a few hours Konrad Zuse remained silent due to the dark times and the resulting relevance of his early knowledge.
During the last days of war the next model Z4 was transported under adventurous circumstances via truck and horse-drawn cart from Berlin to Göttingen and then to the Allgäu. Hidden in a stable it remained undiscovered by the war parties and was later in 1949 transported to the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Another extraordinary achievement is the first algorithmic programming language "Plankalkül" that was developed by Konrad Zuse in 1945/46.
From various sides Konrad Zuse was awarded with the title "Inventor of the computer". When asked about it Konrad Zuse used to reply - "Well, I guess, it took many inventors besides me to develop the computer as we know it nowadays. I wish the following generation All the Best for their work with the computer. May this instrument help you solving the problems which we old folks have left behind."
In his spare time Konrad Zuse loved to paint. His works were shown at numerous exhibitions and they are collectors' items. For a few years he used the pseudonym "Kuno See".
A first selection of his pictures has been published as fine art prints (limited edition) by RT-Distribution (Premiere artexpo 1994, New York City, USA). If you are interested in buying a fine art print, an original, a mousepad, a telephone card or a calendar of Konrad Zuse, please go to our info page. Signed pieces available upon request. By the way - this page here was the first internet page which showed art by Konrad Zuse. It went online just a few days before his 85th birthday. Some months earlier the question "Who invented the computer?" had been posted by RT-Distribution to several usegroups on the net. All this plus the explosive growth of the newborn WorldWideWeb sparked a discussion which soon got its own dynamics. Due to his unexpected and sudden death in December 1995 Konrad Zuse unfortunately could only experience the beginning of the internet boom. Had he lived longer, - he would have enjoyed every minute of this exciting development. Although his technical achievements and inventions were his life, Konrad Zuse also knew very well when it was time to take a brush and paint a picture or just enjoy a walk through nature.
To the Konrad Zuse exhibition >>>
Ernst Freiberger, Horst Zuse, Otto Schily. Berlin, 22.06.2005
Visit Konrad Zuse and other "Heros without swords" in the "street of memories" (Berlin Alt-Moabit/Spreebogen)