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
IBM Punch Card Gauge
- This gray metal instrument checked the "registration" or alignment of a card punch. Its surface is marked and numbered like an IBM punch card, with 80 columns of numbers. A sample punched card, held in place by three protrusions, fit over the surface and was compared to the rectangles below. Machines out of registration could then be reported.
- A mark on the bottom reads: MFG. BY I.B.M. Another mark there reads: GAUGE CARD FACE UP.
- The device fits in a brown cardboard envelope that is covered with cellophane. A mark on the envelope reads: 450550.
- This is a gauge for an IBM 5081 punch card and a related card punch. It was used at the University of Pittsburgh in Professor Robert A. McConnell’s research on parapsychology.
- For a related card, see 1990.0113.03.
- Accession File.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History