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
Punch Card Probe
- This cylindrical metal stainless steel rod is about 8" long and resembles a crochet hook. The metal is serrated along the middle part of the rod. One end is hooked, the other is flattened and U-shaped. The donor worked with tabulating machines and then computer equipment from the 1940s into at least the 1960s.
- Reportedly the hook was used to line up punched cards and the flattened end to complete holes that had not punched properly.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1950
- 1950, roughly
- ID Number
- nonaccession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History