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 electrotype printing block is engraved in metal and attached to a wooden block. It shows a manually operated, key-driven Hollerith card punch with 11 keys. Hollerith patented such a machine in 1901, but it had only ten keys, numbered from 0 to 9. The machine shown on the electroplate has these number keys, plus one marked X.
- For key punches similar but not identical to that shown, see MA.335634, MA.335635, and MA.333894.
- H. Hollerith, "Apparatus for Perforating Record Cards," U.S. Patent 682,197, September 10, 1901.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1902
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History