Computers & Business Machines
Imagine the loss, 100 years from now, if museums hadn't begun preserving the artifacts of the computer age. The last few decades offer proof positive of why museums must collect continuously—to document technological and social transformations already underway.
The museum's collections contain mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and handheld devices. Computers range from the pioneering ENIAC to microcomputers like the Altair and the Apple I. A Cray2 supercomputer is part of the collections, along with one of the towers of IBM's Deep Blue, the computer that defeated reigning champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in 1997. Computer components and peripherals, games, software, manuals, and other documents are part of the collections. Some of the instruments of business include adding machines, calculators, typewriters, dictating machines, fax machines, cash registers, and photocopiers
Blickensderfer No. 6 Portable Typewriter
- This is the case for the Blickensder No. 6 typewriter. The Blickensderfer typewriter No. 6 was manufactured by the Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company of Stamford, Connecticut from 1910 to around 1928. The Blickenderfer No. 6 was essentially the Blickensderfer No. 5 in an aluminum frame, and could be ordered with either a standard QWERTY keyboard or a DHIATENSOR keyboard. Blickensderfer called the latter their “scientific” keyboard because the most used letters—“D, H, I, A, T, E, N, S, O, and R”—were on the bottom row nearest the space bar to minimize necessary hand movement. The aluminum frame of the No. 6 made it exceptionally portable, weighing only 5 pounds, and came in a leatherette case for easy carrying, seen here.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1900
- Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History