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 chrome-plated hollow brass cylinder has embossed on its outer surface the numbers and letters for an 80-column IBM punch card. Sections of the card are for several quantities associated with shipping (amount, miles, hours, job number, account number, rate per hour, department number, order number, day, month, etc.) The cylinder was used to print the IBM cards. According to the donor, the object dates from the early 1960s.
- Currently not on view
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- National Museum of American History