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
- This metal component includes a wooden framework painted black. An interrupter is at one end, and an electromagnet within the box. Herman Hollerith was the first inventor to build successful computing devices based on electromagnets. This may have been a part of a tabulating machine.
- This piece does not seem to match any drawing in Hollerith’s patents.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1890
- ID Number
- nonaccession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History