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 Verifier for Punched Cards
- This key-driven, manual verifier has 15 black rubber keys. Twelve are for the 12 columns on a punch card. These are labeled from 0 to 9, X, and blank. Two other keys move the card one space, and the last key releases the card. Cards are fed manually from the left. A mechanism at the center of the machine senses whether or not a hole has been punched in a given line. If one depresses a key corresponding to a hole punched on the card, the card advances one place to the left. If the hole on the card does not match what is punched, the card does not move. Depressing the blank key at the front of the verifier then cuts a hole at the bottom of the column in which the error occurs. Erroneous cards are then retyped on a card punch. If the hole and the key typed match, the card advances one column.
- A mark stamped on the base of the machine toward the left reads: 05111993-A0.
- IBM introduced verifiers as part of its line of punch card equipment around 1917. Cards with 12 columns date from the early 1930s onward.
- C. J. Basche, L. R. Johnson, J. H. Palmer and E. W. Pugh, IBM’s Early Computers, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986, pp. 7–8, 11.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1935
- International Business Machines Corporation
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History