Ferranti Mark II High Speed Tape Reader


This instrument consists of electronic components arranged in a heavy metal box with a black crackle finish. A tape feed sits atop this box and has a gray casing. The device read punched paper tape for computer input, operating at a speed of up to 200 characters per minute. It includes a tape feed mechanism, an optical projection system, reading and tape location photocells with associated circuits, and a squaring circuit for the location photocell. There is a clear plastic plate which can be attached to the bottom of the reader for light alignment.

The six screws around the edge of the black lid of the machine and the four screws holding the gray case to the lid are substitutes added in 2011.

A metal tag on the front of the box reads: HIGH SPEED (/) TAPE READER (/) MARK II (/) 230/115 VOLTS 50/60 ~ (/) SER. No. 58. A mark on the case of the tape drive reads: F (/) FERRANTI.

Object 1983.3001.50 is the tape reader, objects 1983.3001.38 through 1983.3001.45 and 1983.3001.51 are related parts.

There are numerous associated spare - or non-assembled - parts. These have been assigned number 1983.3001.51.


Ferranti Limited, Instruction Manual Ferranti High Speed Tape Reader Mk. II, 1953.

Date Made: ca 1953

Maker: Ferranti Limited

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Carnegie Mellon University

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1983.3001.50Catalog Number: 1983.3001.50Nonaccession Number: 1983.3001

Object Name: mainframe computer componentmainframe computer peripheral

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)glass (overall material)metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 29 cm x 29.5 cm x 23 cm; 11 13/32 in x 11 5/8 in x 9 1/16 inplate: 4 cm x 14 cm x 21.5 cm; 1 9/16 in x 5 1/2 in x 8 15/32 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-5adf-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1404926

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