Logic Machine Component, Compulogical Tutor

Logic Machine Component, Compulogical Tutor

Usage conditions apply
The Compulogical Tutor was a simple circuit-based teaching tool, created and copyrighted by Compusad, Inc., of New York Mills, New York, in 1970. The machine was designed to teach individuals without a background in computers, logic, or mathematics the basic principles of Boolean logic and computing machines. In addition to the control board, on which users would build their circuits, the machine came with a set of Logic Module boxes (“and,” “or” and “not”) that simulated particular logic operations. It also had connecting wires of three different lengths and an instruction manual. The Compulogical Tutor was advertised as for both children and adults looking to understand the logical operations of a computer. As the brochure for the machine says, the computer as a 20th century object changed “the outlook for every young and not-so-young person who is planning, or has adopted, a career in science, politics, business, law or medicine,” and so the need for “computer trainers” like this one had become more pressing. Its competitive price of $69.99 made it affordable for the home or the classroom.
Users operated the Compulogical Tutor by placing Logic Modules on the wooden control board, which had a built in circuity in its base, and connecting these modules with the wires supplied. With these materials, anyone could build a wide variety of computational programs and learn how to construct complex decision-making processes and programs from simple logical propositions. The accompanying instruction manual gave users sets of problems and puzzles to set up on the machine, as well as a basic introduction to ideas in computer programming, such as Boolean logic, logic tables, computer architecture, error-detection and cybernetics.
The Smithsonian owns two Compulogical Tutors, one operated with a battery pack in the base of the control board and another with an accompanying electrical control box which plugged into the wall and was operated by a series of toggle switches. Both machines come with their own set of Logical Module boxes and wires. The machine with this number is the one operated with the external electrical control box.
For related documentation, see MA.305773.03 and MA.305773.04.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Logic Machine
date made
ca 1970
Compusad, Inc.
place made
United States: New York, New York Mills
Physical Description
wood (box, modules material)
leather (case, outside material)
metal (circuitry, locks, control box material)
overall: 16 cm x 71.3 cm x 42.3 cm; 6 5/16 in x 28 1/16 in x 16 21/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Compusad, Inc.
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Teaching Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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