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
Mechanism from National Cash Register, Model 79
- By 1894, when this device was made, the National Cash Register Company had developed an adding mechanism in which digits were indicated on the rim of rotating wheels. This is such a mechanism. The three wheels could rotate to show totals as high as $9.99. Four other wheels on the left side each have the digits from 0 to 9 around the edge. The mechanism is mounted on a white wooden display board.
- A mechanism of this type was used in the NCR Model 79 cash register (see object MA.316701). NCR went on to develop a more compact mechanism that could represent eight totals, rather than just one, on a single shaft. See object MA.316704.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- National Cash Register Company
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History