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 strange-looking contraption was actually used to play an early video game.
- To play the golf game on the “Brown Box,” a prototype for the first multiplayer, multiprogram video game system, Baer and his colleagues mounted a golf ball on a joystick handle. This allowed the player to use a real golf club to practice his or her putting skills. Magnavox licensed the "Brown Box" and released the system as the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. Though it was never produced commercially, the golf accessory was covered with brown wood-grain, self-adhesive vinyl so that it would match the "Brown Box."
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- patent holder
- Baer, Ralph H.
- Baer, Ralph H.
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History