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
Counter from a Hollerith Tabulating Machine
- This is a single counter from a Hollerith tabulating machine. It has square brass pieces on top and bottom, with a brass mechanism in between. A paper-covered metal dial on top is divided around the edge into 100 equal parts. Two hands are on the face of the dial. Advancing the small hand by 100 (one revolution) advances the large hand by one. Hence the counter can read up to 9,999.
- A mark around the center of the dial reads: THE HOLLERITH (/) ELECTRIC TABULATING SYSTEM (/) PATENTED, 1889.
- Compare to the dials on MA.312895.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1890
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History