Computers & Business Machines
Imagine the loss, 100 years from now, if museums hadn't begun preserving the artifacts of the computer age. The last few decades offer proof positive of why museums must collect continuously—to document technological and social transformations already underway.
The Museum's collections contain mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and handheld devices. A Cray2 supercomputer is part of the collections, along with one of the towers of IBM's Deep Blue, the computer that defeated reigning champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in 1997. Other artifacts range from personal computers to ENIAC, the Altair, and the Osborne 1. Computer components and peripherals, games, software, manuals, and other documents are part of the collections. Some of the instruments of business include adding machines, calculators, typewriters, dictating machines, fax machines, cash registers, and photocopiers
"Computers & Business Machines - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Showing up for work punctually, at an official time, became expected behavior toward the end of the 19th century, as more and more people worked for others rather than for themselves. Not just the work force's punctuality was at issue. Cost accounting and analysis--recording and scrutinizing expenses for labor, materials and overhead--were getting more attention than ever before. Time was money.
- In the 1890s, timekeepers-- clerks who kept track of employees' hours in handwritten logs --found that machines were beginning to replace them, especially in workplaces with large numbers of employees. Thanks to the influence of the advocates of scientific management, nearly every industrial workplace had a time clock, after about 1910. So did many offices. By the early twentieth century the International Time Recording Company supplied an entire line of timekeeping devices, including master clocks, several types of time clocks, and time stamps. Founded in 1900, the firm continuously expanded its product line, underwent several reorganizations and name changes, and emerged in 1924 as the International Business Machine Corporation, familiar today as IBM.
- One of the firm's most popular products was the dial time recorder, a clock that could furnish a daily or weekly record of up to 150 employees. Based on the 1888 patent of physician Alexander Dey, the dial time recorder was essentially a spring-driven clock with a cast-iron wheel affixed to its dial side. The rim of the wheel was perforated with numbered holes. As employees pressed a rotating pointer into the hole at their assigned number, the machine recorded the time on a preprinted sheet and rang a bell with each punch. A two-color ribbon printed all regular time in green and all tardiness, early departures, and overtime in red.
- This International dial time recorder hung in a factory in the garment district of New York City.
- Date made
- ca 1912
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center