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 object consists of two identical shaped steel pieces from the printer section of a Powers tabulating machine. Each carries ten pieces of type that fit into the arch of the piece. At the top is a 0, at the bottom a 9.
- Powers took out patents for tabulating machines in the early 20th century. These pieces are similar but not identical to those shown in patents of 1917 and 1921, and to pieces from a Powers Accounting Machine Corporation parts catalog from 1923. They are more similar to drawings in a patent filed in 1926 by Joseph R. Merkle and assigned to Remington Rand, Inc., the successor firm to Powers Accounting Machine Company.
- Powers Accounting Machine Corporation, Powers Tabulating Equipment, Book 3, New York: Powers Accounting Machine Corporation, 1923, Plate 507, Plate 510. This document is 1992.3215.03.
- James Powers, "Tabulator-Printer for Statistical Purposes," U.S. Patent 1,245,502, November 6, 1917.
- James Powers, "Combined Perforating and Printing Tabulator Mechanism," U.S. Patent 1,388,299, August 23, 1921.
- Joseph R. Merkle, "Tabulating Machine," U.S. Patent 1,884,072, October 25, 1932. This patent was filed March 27, 1926.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1926
- ID Number
- nonaccession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History