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
- The wooden base of this model holds a metal container with a paper punch card that fits in it. A metal piece swings from a crosspiece above the card. The base also holds supports for another metal crosspiece. Three metal pieces rotate with this crosspiece. The base also holds two larger, facing metal rectangles. One rectangle has a plastic piece screwed to the top.
- A mark on the right side of the punch card reads: POWERS ACCOUNTING MACHINE COMPANY (/) ACCOUNTS PAYABLE. A mark on the left side of the punch card reads: P1384. The punched holes are round.
- A piece of paper pasted to the top of the base reads: This model represents my new (/) invention of a tabulator in connec- (/) tion with perforated cards, elimina- (/) ting a pin box of 540 pins and sub- (/) stitution forty-five levers instead. (/) Also eliminating connection box, with (/) both of these improvements the speed (/) will be doubled and such machine will (/) be small in size, cheaper to build, (/) more flexible and easier to manipulate. (/) August 19, 1924 (/) James Powers. Also signing the document were Fred J. Dole, Charles E. Whiteman and Achilles Rovegno, all of whom had associations with Francis H. Richards of New York, Powers’s patent attorney.
- No patent corresponding to this invention has been found.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- James Powers
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History