Reel of Magnetic Tape with COBOL Compiler


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.

Date Made: 1960

Maker: Remington Rand Univac

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers, Computers & Business Machines, American Enterprise, COBOL


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Transfer from US Department of Defense

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CI.317980.01Catalog Number: 317980.01Accession Number: 317980

Object Name: software

Measurements: overall: 3/4 in x 8 in x 8 in; 1.905 cm x 20.32 cm x 20.32 cm


Record Id: nmah_1275870

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