Friden 5610 Computyper

This Friden 5610 Computyper was manufactured by the Friden Division of the Singer Company around 1969. This machine is actually two-in-one, the Friden 5610 Computyper and the 2205 Flexowriter. The Flexowriter was also sold apart from the Friden 5610 as a teleprinter. The Flexowriter consists of an electric typewriter with paper tape reader and punch mechanism. The Flexowriter would produce a coded data tape that could be read by the Computyper to automate various business activities. The Computyper was marketed as a data processor for business use, automatically producing invoices, sales totals, product sales analysis, taxes, costs, profits, and special charges.
Currently not on view
Object Name
typewriter system, friden
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

10/24/2014 8:09:35 AM
Bill Rodgers
I am a former Singer/Friden Technician who was factory trained on the 5610. You couldn't purchase a 5610 without a Flexowriter as it was it's primary I/O and print station. Input was from keyboard or paper tape reader. Output was to the print station or paper tape punch. Auxillary / peripheral units were available. These include a high speed paper tape reader, paper tape punch, IBM Card Reader, and an interface unit for an IBM 026 Card Punch. Memory for the 5610 was an acoustical delay line. It was approximately 50' of piano wire spooled on nylon spacers. It provided 1100 characters of storage. (7 ascii bits to a character) A bit was a 4 nanosecond twist placed upon the wire that "rang" around the spool and had to be regenerated when it reached the end. Data reads were destructive. When you took a character off the delay line a "marker " character was put in it's place, When the delay line "wrapped" to the marker the character was put back in place of the marker. The 5610 was primarily used in accounting , billing, and inventory applications I also had them on Kennedy Space Center, Patrick A.F.B., and Postal Sort Stations A typical installation cost about $24000. in 1969. The Flexowriter could be purchased as a separate stand-alone type station for about $2200.
11/28/2014 7:12:57 AM
Used at foreign trade companies Czechoslovakia 1969-1976. Interesting wired memory 4kB-16kB. All programme created in machine code language. Very favourite reliable product. I have serviced these machines that time.
11/19/2015 9:51:30 PM
Douglas W. Jones
I am currently working with a student at the University of Iowa on restoring a Singer/Friden model 2201 Flexowriter that is visually similar to the 2205 Flexowriter that is part of this object. It was used by a bank in Coralville Iowa to type dunning form letters to people who owed money in the late 1960s and into the 1970s., when it was replaced by a computer. I am putting up a web site with photos of the innards, connections to the relevant patents and other documentation. See: for the current state of this effort.
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