Come and see a public demonstration of the MONIAC – 'Monetary National Income Analogue Computer' – the first Wednesday of every month.
This early econometric computer ingeniously uses water to model flows of money in an economy. Kiwi Bill Phillips built it in 1949, drawing on his electrical and engineering experience, to make a computer that could do complex calculations beyond the ability of other computers at the time. Phillips went on to become a professor at the London School of Economics, and is best known for his work on the Phillips Curve.
The acronym MONIAC was apparently invented to echo the ENIAC digital computer then being developed in the United States.
By contrast with those machines the MONIAC operated wholly on analogue principles, using water to simulate flows of money. Around 14 were built.
The MONIAC was capable of making complex calculations that could not be performed by any other computer at the time. The linkages were based on Keynesian and classical economic principles, with various tanks representing households, business, government, exporting and importing sectors of the economy.
Water pumped around the system could be measured as income, spending and GDP. The system was programmable, and experiments with fiscal policy, monetary policy and exchange rates could be carried out.
This is a FREE public demonstration.
When: from12.15 to 12.45 pm on the first Wednesday of every month.
Where: Reserve Bank Museum, No. 2 The Terrace, Wellington
Website: http://www.rbnzmuseum.govt.nz/activities/moniac/introduction.aspx for more information on the MONIAC