Reel of Magnetic Tape with COBOL Compiler

Description
Programs and data were entered into many early computers, including those made by Univac and RCA, using reels of magnetic tape like this one. This particular tape carried a compiler for the programming language COBOL. It was used in December 1960, when a COBOL program first ran successfully on computers made by two different manufacturers. Thus it stands as a symbol of the birth of one of the first common programming languages. Computer programmers would come to expect that different brands of computers ran the same languages. COBOL became a routine tool for business programming.
The reel is marked: UNIVAC. It is also marked: COBOL. A piece of tape attached to the back reads: 12/6/60 UNIVAC COBOL COMPILER 2319 UC.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
software
date made
1960
maker
Remington Rand Univac
Measurements
overall: 3/4 in x 8 in x 8 in; 1.905 cm x 20.32 cm x 20.32 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
CI*317980.01
catalog number
317980.01
accession number
317980
subject
Computers & Business Machines
COBOL
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
COBOL
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from US Department of Defense
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Approved comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about your own artifacts or tell you how much they are worth.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.