Harris 1500 Editorial Input Terminal

Harris 1500 Editorial Input Terminal

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Usage conditions apply
This video display terminal, sold under the name Harris 1500, was first used in 1973 at the Times-Democrat, a newspaper in Davenport, Iowa. This “dumb” terminal (it had no internal memory) was connected to a DEC PDP-11/20 server. News reporters wrote their stories on these terminals instead of on paper. Finished stories, were reviewed by the editors electronically, then sent for printing. The Times-Democrat (soon renamed the Quad-City Times) was the one of the first newspapers to fully convert to a word processing system.
According to an article in the New York Times on Feb. 17, 1972, this terminal cost about $5,000.
In the case below the screen are five white plastic switches (TAB SET, TAB CLEAR, COMM LOCAL, CLEAR, and POWER). Left of the QWERTY keyboard are five orange function keys, and to the right are fourteen orange function keys. The glass screen in front of the CRT (cathode ray tube) has a 1 cm high space between the top of the glass and the case’s screen opening.
Taped to the terminal on the left side of the display screen, is a black and white image of a penguin. On the right side of the screen are the remains of three white rub-on numbers--1, 2, and possibly a 9.
“Harris-Intertype Selling New Device,” New York Times, February 17, 1972, p. 55.
Currently not on view
Object Name
minicomputer peripheral
date made
c 1972
c 1973
ca 1973
Harris-Intertype Corporation
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (display screen material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 29 cm x 46 cm x 53.5 cm; 11 13/32 in x 18 1/8 in x 21 1/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of William Theobald
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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