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
- In the 1960s, when UCLA (the University of California at Los Angeles) purchased a commercial computer from IBM, students formed a club where they could share their knowledge of the new machines. At that time, data and programs were entered onto computers using punched cards like this one. The decoration of the card was up to the individual customer. This is a pink eighty-column punch card for an IBM computer. Each column contains the digits from 0 to 9. The background of the card shows the head of a moose propped in front of a log. An open book lies on the left, and magnetic tape is in the mouth of the moose.
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- National Museum of American History