Orgin of the term "byte", 1956

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 19 Jan 1906 09:30:49 -0800

>Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 10:14:26 -0700
>From: Mark Boolootian <>
>To: Lloyd Wood <>
>Subject: Re: wee tee cee pee (or "Worlds Tiniest Web Server")
>Mail-Followup-To: Lloyd Wood <>, braden@ISI.EDU,
> end2end-interest@ISI.EDU,
>> > If memory serves, the term "byte" was invented by IBM when
>> > they designed the Stretch computer.
>> by Werner Buchholz, in fact. 1956.
>Some further support from the web:
> The term BYTE was coined in 1956 by Dr. Werner Buchholz of IBM. A
> question-and-answer session at an ACM conference on the history of
> programming languages included this exchange:
> JOHN GOODENOUGH: You mentioned that the term "byte" is used in JOVIAL.
> Where did the term come from?
> JULES SCHWARTZ (inventor of JOVIAL): As I recall, the AN/FSQ-31, a
> totally different computer than the 709, was byte oriented. I don't
> recall for sure, but I'm reasonably certain the description of that
> computer included the word "byte," and we used it.
> FRED BROOKS: May I speak to that? Werner Buchholz coined the word as part
> of the definition of STRETCH, and the AN/FSQ-31 picked it up from
> STRETCH, but Werner is very definitely the author of that word.
> SCHWARTZ: That's right. Thank you.
>Culled from