Terminal Interchange from PANAMAC Airlines Reservation System

The PANAMAC, Pan American's first worldwide airline reservation management system, was installed in 1964, and used the IBM 7080 Data Processing System. PANAMAC linked hundreds of agent sets throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean with the Pan American computing center in New York City. The IBM 1006 Terminal Interchange was part of the networked system shown in this graphic from the PANAMAC manual. Using teleprocessors networked to the computing center, agents could access Pan Am flight information and book reservations almost instantly. While this is now commonplace, at the time it was an innovative and successful system.
PANAMAC was based on computer networks developed for the United States military where “real-time” information was necessary to calculate projected trajectories for missiles. The IBM-designed network was only the second real-time network to be installed for high-speed computing and communication in the airline industry. The first networked system developed for real-time airline reservations was American Airline's SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business-Related Environment), developed by IBM and implemented in 1961 on an IBM 7090 system. Delta's Deltamatic flight reservation system, installed in 1964, was also designed by IBM and used an IBM 7074 system. Prior to these systems, reservation information was available but quickly outdated. A few early computer systems, such as American Airlines' Reservisor, designed by Teleregister Corp., provided quick access to flight information but were not set up to receive information. Reservations still had to be taken by hand and calls placed to airlines to confirm availability.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Special Purpose Computer
Date made
Pan American Airlines
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Computers & Business Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

3/18/2016 9:08:43 PM
Laura Cochran
I worked as a reservationist in Pan Am building in NYC during 1962 to 1966 and utilized the Panamac. I even have a photo of me working on it. My goodness, that was a long time ago and now it's in the Smithsonian.
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