From about August 1948, the SSEM was intensively developed as a prototype for the Manchester Mark 1, initially with the aim of providing the university with a more realistic computing facility. In October 1948, UK Government Chief Scientist Ben Lockspeiser was given a demonstration of the prototype Mark 1 while on a visit to the University of Manchester. Lockspeiser was so impressed by what he saw that he immediately initiated a government contract with the local firm of Ferranti to make a commercial version of the machine, the Ferranti Mark 1. In his letter to the company, dated 26 October 1948, Lockspeiser authorised the company to "proceed on the lines we discussed, namely, to construct an electronic calculating machine to the instructions of Professor F. C. Williams". From that point on, development of the Mark 1 had the additional purpose of supplying Ferranti with a design on which to base their commercial machine. The government's contract with Ferranti ran for five years from November 1948, and involved an estimated £35,000 per year (£950,000 as of 2010).
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