2 Facilities &

2  Facilities &
2
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Category
Pages
Facilities & Buildings
3-10
General Reference
11-20
Human Resources
21-22
Legal
23-25
Marketing
26
Personal Names (Individuals)
27
Predecessor Companies
28-29
Products & Services
30-89
Public Relations
90
Research
91-97
April 10, 2007
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Facilities & Buildings
Q.
When did IBM first open its offices in my town?
A.
While it is not possible for us to provide such information for each and every office
facility throughout the world, the following listing provides the date IBM offices were
established in more than 300 U.S. and international locations:
Adelaide, Australia
Akron, Ohio
Albany, New York
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Alexandria, Egypt
Algiers, Algeria
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anchorage, Alaska
Ankara, Turkey
Asheville, North Carolina
Asuncion, Paraguay
Athens, Greece
Atlanta, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Austin, Texas
Baghdad, Iraq
Baltimore, Maryland
Bangor, Maine
Barcelona, Spain
Barranquilla, Colombia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Beaumont, Texas
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Bergen, Norway
Berlin, Germany
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Beyrouth, Lebanon
Bilbao, Spain
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, England
Bogota, Colombia
Boise, Idaho
Bordeaux, France
Boston, Massachusetts
Brantford, Ontario
Bremen, Germany
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1917
1919
1940
1934
1932
1915
1914
1947
1935
1946
1941
1935
1914
1946
1937
1947
1915
1946
1923
1946
1938
1946
1926
1934
1946
1914 (prior to)
1938
1947
1946
1919
1930
1931
1948
1932
1914
1947
1938
4
Bridgeport, Connecticut
1919
Brisbane, Australia
1914
Brooklyn, New York
1915
Brussels, Belgium
1919
Bucharest, Rumania
1929
Budapest, Hungary
1914 (prior to)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
1914 (prior to)
Buffalo, New York
1915
Butte, Montana
1931
Cairo, Egypt
1947
Calcutta, India
1936
Calgary, Alberta
1922
Canton, Ohio
1921
Cape Town, South Africa
1933
Caracas, Venezuela
1937
Casablanca, Morocco
1932
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1946
Charleston, South Carolina
1946
Charleston, West Virginia
1941
Charlotte, North Carolina
1920
Chatham, New Brunswick
1947
Chattanooga, Tennessee
1919
Cheyenne, Wyoming
1946
Chicago, Illinois
1914
Cincinnati, Ohio
1915
Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic1948
Cleveland, Ohio
1915
Columbia, South Carolina
1934
Columbus, Georgia
1946
Columbus, Ohio
1917
Concord, New Hampshire
1936
Copenhagen, Denmark
1914
Corpus Christi, Texas
1941
Dakar, West Africa
1946
Dallas, Texas
1915
Damascus, Syria
1947
Dayton, Ohio
1919
Denver, Colorado
1919
Des Moines, Iowa
1916
Detroit, Michigan
1915
Dortmund-Dorstfeld, Germany
1938
Dresden, Germany
1927
Dublin, Ireland
1946
Duluth, Minnesota
1919
Dusseldorf, Germany
1926
Edmonton, Alberta
1941
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El Paso, Texas
Elisabethville, Belgian Congo
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elmira, New York
Endicott, New York
Erie, Pennsylvania
Essen, Germany
Evansville, Indiana
Flint, Michigan
Florence, Italy
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Worth, Texas
Fortaleza, Brazil
Frankfurt-Main, Germany
Fresno, California
Galveston, Texas
Geneva, Switzerland
Glasgow, Scotland
Goteborg, Sweden
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Hagerstown, Maryland
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Hamburg, Germany
Hamilton, Bermuda
Hamilton, Ontario
Hammond, Indiana
Hannover, Germany
Hanoi, French Indo-China
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Hartford, Connecticut
Havana, Cuba
Helena, Montana
Helsinki, Finland
Hobart, Australia
Hong Kong
Honolulu, Hawaii
Houston, Texas
Huntington, West Virginia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jackson, Michigan
Jackson, Mississippi
Jacksonville, Florida
Jamestown, New York
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1938
1946
1945
1920
1920
1938
1945
1936
1943
1939
1924
1948
1938
1946
1946
1935
1914 (prior to)
1935
1917
1946
1920
1946
1948
1919
1925
1935
1914 (prior to)
1946
1938
1935
1919
1915
1927
1946
1923
1914
1948
1931
1915
1919
1915
1946
1938
1919
1941
6
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jefferson City, Missouri
Jersey City, New Jersey
Jerusalem, Palestine
Johannesburg, South Africa
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Joplin, Missouri
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Kansas City, Missouri
Karlsruhe, Germany
Kassel, Germany
Kingsport, Tennessee
Kingston, Ontario
Kitchner, Ontario
Knoxville, Tennessee
Koln, Germany
La Paz, Bolivia
Lafayette, Indiana
Lansing, Michigan
Lille, France
Lisbon, Portugal
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Leeds, England
Lexington, Kentucky
Liege, Belgium
Lima, Ohio
Lima, Peru
Lincoln, Nebraska
Little Rock, Arkansas
London, England
London, Ontario
Louisville, Kentucky
Lubbock, Texas
Macon, Georgia
Madison, Wisconsin
Madrid, Spain
Malmoe, Sweden
Manchester, England
Manila, Philippines
Marseille, France
Medellin, Colombia
Melbourne, Australia
Memphis, Tennessee
Mexico City, Mexico
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1939
1939
1947
1938
1937
1947
1940
1915
1938
1941
1946
1946
1942
1934
1938
1941
1946
1920
1925
1919
1946
1916
1939
1930
1948
1945
1946
1930
1936
1935
1914 (prior to)
1920
1919
1946
1919
1946
1916
1938
1925
1931
1928
1940
1914
1921
1927
7
Miami, Florida
Milan, Italy
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mineola, New York
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mobile, Alabama
Moline, Illinois
Moncton, New Brunswick
Monterey, Mexico
Montevideo, Uruguay
Montgomery, Alabama
Montpelier, Vermont
Montreal, Quebec
Mount Vernon, New York
Munich, Germany
Nancy, France
Nantes, France
Naples, Italy
Nashville, Tennessee
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New Delhi, India
New Haven, Connecticut
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
Newark, New Jersey
Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
Niteroi, Brazil
Norfolk, Virginia
Nurnberg, Germany
Oakland, California
Olympia, Washington
Omaha, Nebraska
Orlando, Florida
Oslo, Norway
Ottawa, Ontario
Panama City, Panama
Paris, France
Paterson, New Jersey
Peoria, Illinois
Perth, Australia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Pierre, South Dakota
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Poughkeepsie, New York
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1928
1915
1947
1915
1942
1938
1946
1946
1923
1939
1946
1914 (prior to)
1948
1930
1937
1935
1947
1933
1946
1947
1929
1919
1914
1915
1933
1945
1942
1935
1919
1939
1919
1946
1916
1919
1931
1914 (prior to)
1946
1919
1914
1914
1940
1946
1916
1934
1924
8
Portland, Maine
Portland, Oregon
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Providence, Rhode Island
Quebec City, Quebec
Quincy, Illinois
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reading, Pennsylvania
Recife, Brazil
Regina, Canada
Richmond, Virginia
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Riverside, California
Roanoke, Virginia
Rochester, New York
Rockford, Illinois
Rome, Italy
Saarbrucken, Germany
Sacramento, California
Saigon, French Indo-China
St. Louis, Missouri
Salem, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Antonio, Texas
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Santiago, Chile
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Salvador, Brazil
Savannah, Georgia
Schenectady, New York
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Seattle, Washington
Shanghai, China
Shreveport, Louisiana
Sioux City, Iowa
Sofia, Bulgaria
South Bend, Indiana
Spokane, Washington
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Ohio
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1916
1925
1917
1921
1946
1938
1921
1948
1946
1917
1921
1947
1921
1915
1921
1930
1935
1921
1938
1915
1947
1919
1921
1939
1914
1940
1944
1918
1924
1934
1941
1919
1946
1916
1915
1928
1944
1921
1926
1917
1919
1937
1917
1946
1946
9
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockton, California
Strasbourg, France
Stuttgart, Germany
Sydney, Australia
Syracuse, New York
Tacoma, Washington
Tallahassee, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Teheran, Iran
Three Rivers, Quebec
Toledo, Ohio
Toulouse, France
Topeka, Kansas
Toronto, Ontario
Trenton, New Jersey
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tunis, Tunisia
Turin, Italy
Utica, New York
Vancouver, British Columbia
Venice, Italy
Vienna, Austria
Waco, Texas
Warren, Ohio
Washington, D.C.
Waterbury, Connecticut
Waterloo, Iowa
Wellington, New Zealand
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wichita, Kansas
Wilmington, Delaware
Windsor, Ontario
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Worcester, Massachusetts
York, Pennsylvania
Youngstown, Ohio
Zurich, Switzerland
1920
1946
1930
1926
1914 (prior to)
1916
1946
1938
1946
1947
1947
1919
1940
1936
1914 (prior to)
1934
1928
1946
1914 (prior to)
1921
1914 (prior to)
1948
1914 (prior to)
1946
1947
1915
1935
1947
1947
1921
1924
1938
1939
1917
1937
1917
1936
1919
1914 (prior to)
Q.
In what year did IBM open its various manufacturing and laboratory facilities in the
United States?
A.
The following list provides the year in which certain IBM U.S. facilities first became
operational:
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Austin (Texas) plant
Boca Raton (Fla.) plant
Boulder (Colo.) plant
Brooklyn (N.Y.) plant*
Burlington (Vt.) plant
Dayton (N.J.) laboratory
Dayton (N.J.) plant
Charlotte (N.C.) plant
East Fishkill (N.Y.) plant
Endicott (N.Y.) laboratory
North Street
Glendale Lab
Endicott (N.Y.) plant****
Gaithersburg (Md.)
Houston (Texas) [FSD NASA support]
Kingston (N.Y.) plant
Lexington (Ky.) plant
Manassas (Va.) plant
Menlo Park (Calif.) plant
Owego (N.Y.) plant
Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) plant
Raleigh (N.C.) plant
Rochester (Minn.) plant***
San Jose (Calif.) card plant
Santa Teresa (Calif.) laboratory
Tucson (Ariz.) plant**
Yorktown (N.Y.) laboratory
1966
1967
1965
1968
1957
1967
1958
1978
1963
1933 (dedicated in December 1934)
1954
1906
1966
1962
1956
1956
1968
1966
1957 (dedicated in 1958)
1941
1965
1956
1943
1977
1980
1960 (dedicated in April 1961)
* For additional information on the Brooklyn plant, visit our virtual exhibit “A Bridge To
Opportunities” available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/brooklyn/brooklyn_1.html** For additional information on the
Tucson plant, visit our virtual exhibit “Storage And Cactus” available http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/tucson/tucson_intro.html
*** For additional information on the Rochester plant, visit our virtual exhibit “A Harvest In The
Heartland” available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_intro.html
**** For additional information on the Endicott plant, visit our virtual exhibit “Plant Number
One” available at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/endicott/endicott_intro.html
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General Reference
Q.
I have an old IBM clock or typewriter. Can you tell me how much it is worth?
A.
While we appreciate your interest in one of IBM’s old products, we regret that our staff is
unable to provide appraisals of those products to determine their current worth. We suggest that
you consult a local dealer — especially one specializing in the restoration and sale of old time
pieces or office equipment — as well as classified ads for similar items. In addition, you might
want to research prices on such online services as eBay. We may, however, be able to give you
some general background information on the type of IBM product that you own if you send an
online request to us. Our e-mail address is [email protected] and our Reference Desk phone
number is 914/766-0612.
Q.
What is the origin of IBM’s “THINK” motto?
A.
In December 1911, when future IBM Chairman Thomas J. Watson, Sr., managed the sales
and advertising departments of the National Cash Register Company, he is reported to have said
at a sales meeting: “The trouble with everyone of us is that we don’t think enough. We don’t get
paid for working with our feet; we get paid for working with our heads. … Thought has been the
father of every advance since time began. … ‘I didn’t think’ has cost the world millions of
dollars.” And he wrote “T-H-I-N-K” with a blue crayon on the easel behind him. Almost
immediately, the one-word slogan had been placed on signs in every department at NCR. And
Watson brought that concept with him when he later joined the Computing-TabulatingRecording Company (C-T-R) — the forerunner of today’s IBM — as general manager in 1914.
“THINK” appeared in C-T-R in the form of a large block-letter sign, famed and placed in offices
and plants, and was printed in company publications. In the early 1930s — thanks to the process
of plastic lamination which facilitated large-scale production and distribution — the THINK
motto began to take precedence over other slogans in IBM. It soon appeared in wood, stone and
bronze, and was published in company newspapers, magazines, calendars, photographs,
medallions — even New Yorker cartoons — and it remains today the name of IBM’s employee
publication.
(To hear Tom Watson discuss “Think,” visit our Multimedia page available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/multimedia/index.html)
Q.
What is the history of the IBM Corporate Archives?
A.
The origins of the IBM Archives can be traced back to 1958 with the establishment of
IBM’s Corporate Records Retention Program. Six years later, a corporate archivist was hired to
begin to pull together the company’s historical records which were then spread throughout
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IBM’s far-flung facilities. (Among the more intriguing company papers that had been preserved
over the years was a copy of an agreement between Herman Hollerith, inventor and general
manager of the Tabulating Machine Company — a forerunner of IBM — and the Imperial
Russian Government. The agreement, dated Dec. 15, 1896, was for the purchase by the Czarist
government of 35 electrical tabulating machines at a price of $1,700 each.)
In 1965, IBM’s Records Center was moved from New York City to Hawthorne, N.Y., and,
following that move, Archives materials were stored separately. The facility moved again in
1970 to Nyack, N.Y.
The Archives became a permanent corporate department in March 1974, and returned to
Hawthorne the following year. At that time, the Archives was maintaining over 200,000
photographs, some 3,000 cans of motion picture film and 4,000 cubic feet of printed matter that
traced IBM’s development over the years.
In November 1979, the Corporate Archives was relocated to the IBM Management Development
Center near the company’s headquarters in Armonk, N.Y. In just the first five years of its formal
existence, the Archives had already accumulated one of the world’s finest historical collections
on the punched-card era and the computer age which followed. It had preserved the office
correspondence files and other business papers of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., from his early days as
general manager and president of C-T-R in 1915 until his death in 1956, along with a wealth of
printed and filmed material covering the origins and growth of what is now the information
technology industry. These materials were then housed in more than 8,000 boxes, and included
more than 4,300 phonograph records made of aluminum, glass and acetate; more than a quarter
million photographs and negatives of individuals and products; more than 100,000 images on
microfilm; and more than 1,000 post-1952 special events recorded on magnetic tape.
The Corporate Archives was relocated in 1994 into its current home in Somers, N.Y. It now
constitutes one of the largest corporate archives in North America, with more than 10,000 shelf
feet of documents and publications, 5,000 film and video titles, and an artifacts collection dating
back to the 1600s.
The photographs and negatives provide visual records of executives, buildings and sites, products,
Hundred Percent Clubs, Tent City meetings, education classes and other special events dating
back to 1890. Product photos include early weight scales of the familiar type used in groceries
and other stores, time stamps, attendance time recorders and punched-card machines. Among
copies of pre-1920 company publications are The Early Bird and The Tabulator. Business
Machines, for many years IBM’s sole internal publication, is preserved in bound volumes, along
with Think and the different editions of The IBM News. Also preserved in the Archives are
motion pictures of special events, oral histories, technical disclosure bulletins, financial ledgers,
press releases, product brochures, advertisements, patents and engineering documents.
(A sampling of the images in the Archives’ collection is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_intro.html)
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Q.
What were the key events and developments in the early days of IBM? What kind of
products did it sell? Where did it operate?
A.
Following the creation of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R) — the
forerunner of IBM — in 1911 and the subsequent hiring of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., as its general
manager in 1914, the first important development was the creation of International Business
Machines Company, Ltd., of Canada on November 29, 1917, to consolidate the Canadian
business of the three original C-T-R components: the Computing Scale Company of America,
the International Time Recording Company and the Tabulating Machine Company. That same
year, C-T-R took over the American Automatic Scale Company of Chicago, a manufacturer of
automatic heavy capacity weighing devices. It was renamed the International Scale Company
and later became a division of IBM for conducting its industrial scales business.
In the years following World War I, C-T-R’s engineering and research staff developed new and
improved mechanisms to meet the broadening needs of its customers. In 1919, for example, the
company’s implementation of electric synchronization for the control and regulation of complete
time and programming systems began to win commercial success. In 1920, IBM introduced the
lock autograph recorder, the first complete school time-control system, and launched the Electric
Accounting Machine. In 1921, the company acquired the business of the Ticketograph Company
of Chicago, and certain patents and other property of the Peirce Accounting Machine Company.
The growth and extension of C-T-R’s activities had made the old name of the company too
limited, and, on February 14, 1924, C-T-R’s name was formally changed to International
Business Machines Corporation. By then, the company’s business had expanded both
geographically and functionally.
For example, the plant of the German company was completed in 1924 and began operations,
and a company was organized that same year to carry on IBM’s business in France. In 1929,
Compania Internacional de Maquinas Comerciales S.A. was organized as the operating company
for Mexico. In 1931 the first permanent installation of the Filene-Finlay Translator was set up in
the Hall of the League of Nations at Geneva.
Thomas Watson, then IBM’s President, created a major division in 1932 to lead the engineering,
research and development efforts for the entire IBM product line. The following year, IBM
completed one of the finest modern R&D laboratories in the world at Endicott, N.Y. Similarly,
the IBM Schoolhouse was also completed at Endicott in 1933 to provide education and training
for company employees. That same year saw the addition of an entirely new product division —
the Electric Writing Machine Division — to the IBM organization
In 1934, IBM sold the retail scale business of its Dayton Scale Division to the Hobart
Manufacturing Company, enabling IBM to focus on the industrial customers of its International
Scale Division. Also in 1934, IBM opened a new factory in Berlin, and in 1935, established
another new plant in Milan, Italy.
In 1935, IBM launched a new line of business with the introduction of the International Proof
Machine. This single distribution tabulator was, in effect, 24 adding machines synchronized with
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a similar number of sorting receptacles and was controlled from two master keyboards.
Originally designed to facilitate and control the clearing of checks in banks, the International
Proof Machine later found new applications in other commercial and industrial accounting
systems permitting vouchers, invoices and other commercial papers to be proved and distributed
with amazing speed and accuracy.
IBM contributed to the field of education in 1937 with the announcement of the Test Scoring
Machine which scored a complete examination in less time than it took to record the grade, and
with far greater accuracy than a manual scorer.
Year after year, IBM produced constant improvements in electric accounting machines, including
the development of automatic reproducing punches, summary card punches, multiplying
punches, direct subtraction and accounting machines, and alphabetical equipment. The latter
machines were capable of transcribing descriptive data in alphabetical form as well as the
customary numerical total printing or detail listing.
During the little more than two decades after Thomas Watson had assumed the reins, IBM had
grown from a $4 million business to a worldwide enterprise employing some 10,000 people, with
more than $25 million in revenue. In the late-1930s, the company already owned and operated,
directly or through subsidiaries, factories in ten cities in six countries (its principal plant at
Endicott, N.Y.; a card-printing plant in Washington, D.C.; the Electric Writing Machine Factory
at Rochester, N.Y.; and plants at Dayton, Ohio; Toronto, Canada; Hammersmith, near London,
England; Berlin and Sindelfingen, Germany; Vincennes, near Paris, France; and Milan, Italy).
IBM’s World Headquarters Building, at 590 Madison Avenue in New York City opened on
January 18, 1938, and fittingly was dedicated to “world peace through world trade.” And even
with all that business expansion and spreading international presence, the greatest period of
IBM’s growth still lie ahead.
Q.
What is the origin of the term “wild ducks” in IBM history and culture?
A.
Your question is best answered by the words of former IBM Chairman Thomas J.
Watson, Jr., in his book, A Business And Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM, published
by McGraw-Hill in 1963:
In IBM we frequently refer to our need for “wild ducks.” The moral is drawn from a story by the
Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard. He told of a man on the coast of Zealand who liked to watch
the wild ducks fly south in great flocks each fall. Out of charity, he took to putting feed for them in a
nearby pond. After a while some of the ducks no longer bothered to fly south; they wintered in
Denmark on what he fed them.
In time they flew less and less. When the wild ducks returned, the others would circle up to greet
them but then head back to their feeding grounds on the pond. After three or four years they grew so
lazy and fat that they found difficulty in flying at all.
Kierkegaard drew his point — you can make wild ducks tame, but you can never make tame
ducks wild again. One might also add that the duck who is tamed will never go anywhere any more.
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We are convinced that any business needs its wild ducks. And in IBM we try not to tame them.
Q.
What is IBM’s strategy?
A.
Information on that topic is posted on our Documents Desk available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html
Q.
What were some of the milestone’s of IBM’s business outside the United States?
A.
The following is a year-by-year compilation of some key events in IBM’s operations
outside the United States:
1914 – A branch of the International Time Recording Company, an IBM forerunner, is
opens in France (possibly the first non-U.S. operation business other than Canada).
1915 – The Canadian business reaches about $30,000, with a sales force of 12.
1917 – International Business Machines Co., Ltd., is organized to conduct business in
Canada. This is merely a consolidation of three subsidiaries of the three parent
companies
1917 – An office opens in Brazil.
1919 – IBM is introduced into Europe.
1920 – Thomas J. Watson sails for Bombay to open the first office in India.
1922 – A shipment of tabulating machines is sent to Sweden for the population census.
1922 – CTR machines are shown to public in Brazil for the first time at the Century of
Independence Fair.
1923 – Sales posts are opened in Latin America and the Far East.
1924 – The Sindelfingen, Germany, plant is completed.
1925 – The Vincennes, France, plant is completed.
1925 – The first IBM tabulating equipment installed in Argentina by the government.
1925 – The first IBM machinery installed in Chile by the Chilean State Railways.
1925 – IBM enters the Philippines.
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1926 – The first IBM equipment in Japan is installed in Osaka at the Nippon Mutual Life
Insurance Company.
1927 – The first IBM machines in Cuba are installed by the United Railroad of Havana.
1927 – IBM begins operations in Mexico with an installation at the Mexican National
Railroad.
1928 – The first IBM machines in Ecuador are sold to the Ecuadorian government.
1929 – The first IBM equipment is installed in Uruguay.
1929 – The Hammersmith (London), England, plant is completed.
1930 – The first IBM equipment in Guatemala is installed by the International Railway of
Central America
1930 – The first IBM equipment is installed in Peru.
1931 – The Filene-Finlay translation system is installed at Geneva.
1933 – A new plant is built in Berlin, Germany.
1934 – The first IBM machines are installed in China at the Peking Union Medical
College.
1935 – An IBM office is opened in Poland.
1935 – The first IBM machines in Algiers, Algeria, are installed at Regies des
Tramways.
1935 – The first IBM South American sales school is opened in Santiago, Chile.
1935 – A new plant in Milan, Italy, is completed.
1937 – IBM vice president and general manager F. W. Nichol makes the first business
call from the U.S. to China.
1938 – The first IBM machines are installed in Colombia for its census.
1938 – The government census office becomes IBM’s first customer in Tunisia.
1939 – IBM machines are installed in the Moroccan census office.
1939 – The first IBM machines are installed in the Belgian Congo.
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1941 – The first IBM technical school in Latin America opens in Buenos Aires.
1943 – The first IBM equipment in Panama is installed in the offices of Contraloria
General.
1944 – The first IBM equipment in Costa Rica is installed in Caja del Seguro Social.
1945 – The first IBM machines are installed in El Salvador.
1946 – An IBM France office opens in Saigon, Vietnam.
1949 – The IBM World Trade Corporation is organized as an independent but whollyowned subsidiary to handle operations outside the United States.
1950 – The first IBM machines in Israel are installed in the office of the Accountant
General.
1950 – The first Latin American Hundred Percent Club is held in Rio de Janeiro.
1950 – The first IBM machines are installed in Malagasy by the government.
1950 – The first IBM school for Africans opens in Leopoldville, Belgian Congo.
1951 – IBM China is confiscated by the Communist government.
1951 – IBM machines are installed in the Ivory Coast.
1953 – The first IBM machines are installed in Jamaica for its census.
1953 – Harrel Mallac becomes the first user of IBM machines in Mauritius.
1954 – The first IBM machines are installed in Singapore by Overseas Assurance.
1955 – The first IBM installation in Angola is made by Benguela Railways.
1956 – The first African Hundred Percent Club held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
1959 – The World Trade Corporation dedicates Blaricum (The Netherlands) education
center.
1961 – IBM Cuba confiscated by the Castro government.
Q
In what year did IBM begin doing business in countries outside the United States?
A. The following are the years IBM began doing business in various nations around the world:
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Argentina
1924
Australia
1932 *
Austria
1928
Belgium
1936
Bolivia
Brazil
Burma
Canada
Ceylon
Chile
Colombia
Congo (Leopoldville)
Costa Rica
Cyprus
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Honduras
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica, West Indies
Japan
Kenya
Kuwait
Lebanon
Malaysia
Mexico
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
1941
1939
1954
1917
1962
1924
1937
1954
1944
1963
1949
1963
1937
1954
1952
1963
1936
1914
1910
1960
1949
1944
1952
1957
1951
1937
1957
1957
1956
1950
1928**
1955
1937
1959
1963
1961
1953
1930
1940
1958
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New Zealand
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Norway
Panama
Pakistan
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Portugal
Rhodesia
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Spain
Surinam
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Trinidad W.I.
Turkey
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Venezuela
1955
1953
1962
1935
1942
1953
1942
1952
1937
1938
1959
1950
1952
1959
1963
1928
1927
1957
1952
1958
1938
1912
1938
1938
* For a detailed history of IBM's business in Australia, visit http://www8.ibm.com/au/70years/index.html
** For a detailed history of IBM’s business in Italy, visit our online exhibit “IBM In Italia: A
Retrospective” available at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/italy/italy_intro.html
Q.
Where can I find a summary description of IBM and its business?
A.
Such information is available on IBM Web sites at
http://www.ibm.com/investor/data/irdacf.phtml and http://www03.ibm.com/press/us/en/background.wss
Q.
What can you tell me about IBM's role in environmental affairs?
A.
We suggest that you visit IBM's Web site on that topic at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/environment/index.shtml
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Q.
I would like to see a glossary of terms, phrases and abbreviations that are and have been used in
IBM. Where may I find such a resource?
A.
One such source is our own Dictionary of IBM & Computing Terminology found on our
Documents Desk at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html.
Q.
Where may I find photographs of old IBM products, facilities, advertisements and people?
A.
We suggest that you visit our “Vintage Views” online exhibit at http://www-
03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_ads.html
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Human Resources
Q.
Who was IBM’s first woman senior executive?
A.
Ruth M. Leach was selected as a IBM vice president in 1943 at the age of 27, and as such
was one of the first women to hold an executive position in any company and the first ever to
hold a corporate office with IBM. Her association with IBM began in 1939 when she worked as a
demonstrator at the company’s Gallery of Science and Art at the Golden Gate International
Exposition in San Francisco. At the close of the fair, she attended Systems Service Class 448,
and on graduation was assigned to the Atlanta office as a systems service representative. In 1940,
Leach was promoted to the post of instructor with the Department of Education at Endicott,
N.Y., and in October 1941, she was elevated to the position of secretary of education for women.
She subsequently was named manager of the IBM Systems Service Department and in November
1943 was elected a vice president by the Board of Directors. During her business career, Leach
received widespread recognition in the press and won many honors, including selection as one of
the outstanding women of the year in 1945.
Q.
Could you tell me something about IBM’s human resources practices and programs?
A.
Yes, certainly. Please consult our paper on that topic posted on our Documents Desk at
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html
Q.
What can you tell me about IBM’s management principles?
A.
Information on that topic, as communicated by various senior IBM executives, is
available on our Documents Desk at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html
Q.
Where can I find information about IBM's commitment to equal opportunity and
diversity?
A.
Such information is available on IBM's Web site at http://www3.ibm.com/employment/us/diverse/index.shtml In sum, IBM has stated that, as a matter of
policy, its business activities -- such as hiring, promotion, and compensation of employees -- are
conducted without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual
orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, or age.
Q.
I would like background information on IBM's current executives. Where may I find it?
A.
Just visit IBM's Web site at http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/biographies.wss In
addition, we have published information about some of IBM’s former executives and other
employees in our online exhibit “The Builders” available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/builders/builders_intro.html
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Q.
Where can I find information about IBM songbooks or IBM musical groups? What was
the official “IBM song?” Where can I find the lyrics and music to “Ever Onward?”
A.
Material on those specific topics -- and the history and role of music in IBM -- is
provided in an online exhibit entitled “On A Happy Note” available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/music/music_intro.html
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Legal
Q.
What can you tell me about the 1969 U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit
against IBM?
A.
The background for the case of United States of America v. International Business
Machines Corporation was laid two years before it began. In 1967, the U.S. Justice Department
started an investigation of the data processing industry. Given IBM’s prominence, it was clear
that the company would become a focal point. But IBM and its lawyers also believed that, once
an objective evaluation had been made, the Department could not help but conclude that the
industry was, in fact, competitive. IBM lawyers met voluntarily with Department officials
throughout 1967 and 1968, producing some 15,000 pages of file documents. But despite
evidence to the contrary, the Department devised a unique, narrow definition of the market that
was to become the basis of its case — and, in IBM’s view, one of its major weaknesses. The
Justice Department reckoned that IBM had only a handful of competitors.
By December 1968, signals from Washington indicated that the Department did, indeed, intend
to file charges against IBM. With the impending change in Administrations, time was running
out, and so Attorney General Ramsey Clark filed the suit on his last day on the job.
The complaint alleging violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act — which makes it illegal to
“monopolize or to attempt to monopolize . . . trade or commerce . . .” — filled just 12 doublespaced pages. Yet, as the decade and the case ground along, it would become what former U.S.
Solicitor General Robert Bork called “the Antitrust Division’s Vietnam.”
The suit was filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. But for
almost three years, the Government did nothing to either prosecute the case or discuss a
settlement. In 1970, IBM began providing documents to the Department as part of the pretrial
discovery process that enables each side involved in litigation to get the facts to try the case. But
within weeks, Department lawyers cut short their review of documents. They would rely,
instead, on documents from the Control Data Corporation’s private antitrust action against IBM.
Filed in 1968, the CDC suit was settled and never went to trial.
Finally, in January 1972, David N. Edelstein, then Chief Judge of the Court, decided to preside
over the case. To expedite the lawsuit, in October 1972, IBM asked that a separate, prompt trial
be held on the critical issue of market definition. The Justice Department objected and was
upheld. Trial dates were set and broken. In all, six years and four months had gone by before the
trial could even begin at 10:30 a.m., May 19, 1975.
The Government took three years to present its case — almost eight times what it had predicted.
It called 52 witnesses, offered more than 3,200 exhibits and filled nearly 72,000 pages of
transcript. Along the way, it was allowed to introduce new definitions of “relevant market,”
scrapping the one it had argued for almost nine years. In midstream, the market IBM allegedly
tried to monopolize assumed as many as five different definitions for five different time periods.
The shift in ground led to an IBM motion for a mistrial on December 20, 1977. It was denied.
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Within hours after the Government rested its case on April 26, 1978, IBM had its first witness on
the stand.
As might be expected, IBM Chairman Frank T. Cary was to have been a key witness. But his
testimony would hold no surprises. He had already been questioned for 35 days in depositions
and three days on the stand in other trials. Some 300,000 pages of documents had been produced
from his files. But, with the judge’s consent, Cary was subpoenaed anyway and presented with
new demands. The new material now requested would have called for the production of some
five billion pages of material from 2,000 locations throughout the world, entailing almost 62,00
man-years of effort at a cost to IBM of more than $1 billion. In the end, the subpoena was
withdrawn when IBM agreed that Cary’s testimony would deal only with pre-1974 matters and
be limited to a selection of excepts from his depositions and testimony in other trials, and he was
deposed for another ten days.
Soon after Judge Edelstein had ordered IBM to comply with the subpoena, in July 1979, IBM
asked the judge to remove himself from the case because of bias and prejudice against the
company. Judge Edelstein refused, and in November 1979, the Court of Appeals denied an IBM
petition. But the appeals panel that denied the petition also urged some kind of settlement.
Discussions to narrow the issues had begun in late 1979 but no agreement was reached before the
change of Administration in January 1981. Both sides rested their cases on June 1 and were
given until September 1 to submit proposed findings of fact, a customary procedure at the close
of a trial.
And then, on January 8, 1982, the following stipulation was signed by Thomas D. Barr of
Cravath, Swaine & Moore, for IBM, and by William F. Baxter, Assistant Attorney General,
Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, for the United States of America:
Whereas, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division and his staff undertook a
review of this case in June 1981; and
Whereas, that review has included a study of the trial record and a series of meetings with counsel wherein
each of the issues of the case was presented in writing and orally and discussed and analyzed at length; and
Whereas, that review has now been completed; and
Whereas, plaintiff has concluded that the case is without merit and should be dismissed and has so
informed the defendant
It is hereby stipulated and agreed that this case is dismissed without costs to either side.
Thus ended — nine days short of 13 years, with more than 2,500 depositions and 66 million
pages of documents — the longest antitrust trial in history. In Armonk, N.Y., IBM CEO John R.
Opel greeted the dropping of the case as “wonderful news.” He said that the Justice Department
and many Federal courts had confirmed what “we have contended from the start: Our industry is
healthy and competitive, and IBM has not violated the antitrust laws. This case has been
burdensome for everyone and especially for our company. While we have never doubted its
ultimate outcome, we are happy it will not have to drag on through the courts for many more
years.”
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Marketing
Q.
Did Thomas Watson say in the 1950s that he foresaw a market potential for only five
electronic computers?
A.
We believe the statement that you attribute to Thomas Watson is a misunderstanding of
remarks made at IBM’s annual stockholders meeting on April 28, 1953. In referring specifically
and only to the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine -- which had been introduced the
year before as the company’s first production computer designed for scientific calculations -Thomas Watson, Jr., told stockholders that “IBM had developed a paper plan for such a machine
and took this paper plan across the country to some 20 concerns that we thought could use such a
machine. I would like to tell you that the machine rents for between $12,000 and $18,000 a
month, so it was not the type of thing that could be sold from place to place. But, as a result of
our trip, on which we expected to get orders for five machines, we came home with orders for
18.”
Q.
What logos has IBM used over the years?
A.
For illustrations and a discussion of IBM’s logos, please visit our virtual exhibit “From
Globes To Stripes” available at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/logo/logo_1.html
Q.
Where can I find copies of old IBM advertisements?
A.
Some old IBM ads may be seen in our online exhibit “Vintage Views” available at
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_ads.html
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Personal Names
Q.
Please tell me something about the people who have served as IBM’s chairman of the
board?
A.
Information about IBM’s chairmen of the board may be found in our online exhibit “The
Lineage of Leadership” at http//www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/chairmen/chairmen_1.html
In addition, you can find considerable material about Thomas J. Watson, Jr., in “The Father’s Son,” an online
exhibit available at Click here to type text for Linkhttp://www-
03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/watsonjr/watsonjr_intro.html
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Predecessor Companies
Q.
When did IBM begin? I’ve heard various dates, such as 1911, 1914, 1924 — so what is the official date?
When, for example, will IBM celebrate its centennial?
A.
Interestingly, a case can be made for any of the five following dates on which to base IBM’s anniversary:
September 30, 1889 — The incorporation of Bundy Manufacturing Co. (time recording equipment), the first of
many components that eventually became the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, Inc. (C-T-R), and later
IBM.
December 3, 1896 — Incorporation by Herman Hollerith of The Tabulating Machine Co. (punched card tabulating
equipment), the part of C-T-R that eventually became IBM’s principal line of business.
June 16, 1911 — Incorporation of C-T-R, which had acquired Computing Scale Company of America, The
Tabulating Machine Company, International Time Recording Company of New York, and the Bundy Manufacturing
Company. Only the first three businesses were represented in the C-T-R name. There were also a number of other
companies formed after 1889 which had been acquired by the various C-T-R units prior to 1911.
May 4, 1914 — Thomas J. Watson, Sr., was hired as C-T-R’s general manager. IBM has in the past traditionally
recognized this date as its anniversary.
February 14, 1924 — The name of C-T-R was changed to International Business Machines Corporation, a name
which actually had been registered in New York since 1918. The name was first used in 1917 when International
Business Machines Company, Ltd., was established in Canada.
Notwithstanding the enormous leadership role Thomas Watson, Sr., played in guiding C-T-R to success and in the
evolution of that company into the International Business Machines of today, IBM recognizes 1911 as the year in
which the core predecessor businesses began operating as a unified corporation, and, accordingly, IBM will
celebrate its centennial in 2011.
Q.
What were the origins of IBM?
A.
The earliest roots of IBM can be traced back to a set of events that took place in the 1880-1890 period.
First, in 1885, Julius E. Pitrat of Gallipolis, Ohio, secured a patent on an entirely new device which he called a
computing scale. That invention became the earliest component of what later became the International Business
Machines Corporation. From it, in great part, grew the entire business of what for many years was known as the
Dayton Scale Division of IBM.
While Pitrat was at work on his scale, Dr. Herman Hollerith, a distinguished statistician who had been employed by
the U.S. government in the compilation of the 10th Census, was wrestling in Washington, D.C., with the problem of
reducing the mountain of facts gathered by census-takers into usable form. He set out to find a way by which all the
recording, tabulating and analyzing of a body of fact could be done by machinery. The system he devised was
fundamentally simple. It consisted essentially of a method of recording the facts of any given situation — for
example, the description of one person — by punching a definite pattern of holes in a piece of paper. While
Hollerith’s original plan used strips of paper, he soon found it was better to use a separate card of standard size and
shape for each “unit situation.” A prearranged code assigned a definite meaning to each separate position on the
card. A hole punched in that position would then actuate electrically-operated mechanisms which dealt with the
particular data represented by that position. Hollerith’s first customer was the City of Baltimore. Other early users of
Hollerith’s machines were the Bureau of Vital Statistics in New Jersey and the Board of Health in New York City.
Thus, with Pitrat in Ohio and Hollerith in Washington, two building blocks of the future IBM were put in place.
Meanwhile, work was going forward that would result in the third major element in IBM’s early 20th century
business — the accurate and efficient recording of time.
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In 1888, William L. Bundy, a jeweler in Auburn, N.Y., devised a mechanism by which workers were given
individual keys to insert in a time-recorder as a means for logging arrivals and departures at work. That same year,
Dr. Alexander Dey patented a time recorder that avoided the use of separate keys by allowing workers to swing a
pointer on his machine — the Dey Time Recorder — to their own employee number, push the punch in the
corresponding hole, thereby causing the time record to be printed opposite the employee number on a prepared sheet
inside the machine.
Then, beginning in 1889, those early innovations and the following developments led to commercial organizations
which later evolved into IBM:
Bundy Manufacturing Company. Incorporated in 1889 by Harlow E. Bundy, Willard Bundy, George E. Green
and A. Ward Ford as the first time-recorder company in the world.
Computing Scale Company. Incorporated by Orange O. Ozias and Edward Canby, in Dayton, Ohio, in 1891, after
acquiring the Pitrat patents and beginning to manufacture the world’s first computing scales in 1889. In 1893,
Samuel M. Hastings and Walter K. Mills were appointed general sales agents for the company in four Midwestern
states, an appointment that led to a national sales organization.
Tabulating Machine Company. Incorporated by Hollerith in 1896.
Dey Patents Company. Incorporated at Syracuse, N.Y., in 1893. (The name was soon changed to Dey Time
Register Company.)
Willard and Frick Manufacturing Company. Daniel M. Cooper patented the world’s first card time-recorder in
1894. He and J.L. Willard and F.A. Frick formed a company to market Cooper’s invention under the trade name
“Rochester.”
Stimson Computing Scale Company. Organized in Detroit in 1896 and later included in the mergers and
consolidations out of which IBM was formed.
Moneyweight Scale Company. Organized in 1899 and also later included in the mergers and consolidations leading
to the eventual formation of IBM.
International Time Recording Company. Organized in 1900 by George W. Fairchild to take over the properties of
the Bundy Manufacturing Company and its newly acquired subsidiary, the Standard Time Stamp Company, and the
Willard and Frick Manufacturing Company. In 1906, having outgrown Bundy’s Binghamton, N.Y., plant, the
company began work on a new factory building in Endicott, N.Y., and all operations were transferred to the new
plant in August 1907. Also in 1907, International Time Recording Company purchased the Dey Time Register
Company, and transferred the manufacture of dial recorders to Endicott.
Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. The continued progress of the Computing Scale Company of
America, the International Time Recording Company and the Tabulating Machine Company attracted the attention
of Charles R. Flint, a businessman and financier. He became convinced that a merger of the three companies would
result in a formidable business institution. Around 1910, he approached the three companies with merger proposals,
and on June 16, 1911, C-T-R was incorporated as a holding company to assume ownership of the three parent
concerns. C-T-R’s board then sought an executive not previously identified with any of the component companies to
weld them impartially into a single harmonious unit. Thus, in 1914, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., was hired as C-T-R’s
general manager, an event that led to the creation of IBM.
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Products & Services
Q.
What was the Type 1?
A.
Introduced in 1921, the IBM 1 Printing Tabulator was an important milestone in IBM’s history because it
was the first fully automatic card controlled machine. Its features included item listing from each card, total printing,
adding only at higher speed, automatic group control (which eliminated the use of stop cards), automatic counter
reset and a restarting device for the card feed. The Type 1 operated at between 75 and 150 cards a minute.
Q.
What was the 016?
A.
The development of automatic feeding and ejecting mechanisms for keypunches and duplicators helped to
increase the speed of key punching and reduce operator fatigue. The IBM Type 016 Electrical Duplicating
Keypunch, introduced in 1929, fed cards into the punching unit and automatically removed or ejected the cards after
punching. It was withdrawn from marketing in 1960.
Q.
What was the 029?
A.
The IBM 29 card punch was announced on October 14, 1964, the newest version of a device first
developed 74 years earlier. The punch and its companion, the IBM 59 card verifier, were used to record and check
information in punched cards. The cards were then read and processed by a computer or an accounting machine. The
IBM 29 remained in the product catalog until May 1984.
(An image of the 029 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4002.html)
Q.
What was the IBM Type 31?
A.
Alphabetical duplicating key punches recorded alphabetic information in tabulating cards so that complete
words and names, together with numerical data, could be later printed by an alphabetical accounting machine. The
Type 31 Alphabetical Duplicating Punch was introduced by IBM in 1933, and it automatically ejected one card and
fed another in 0.65 second. These machines were equipped with separate alphabetical and numerical keyboards. The
alphabetical keyboard was similar to a conventional manual typewriter except that the shift, tab, backspace and
character keys were eliminated, and a skip, release, stacker and “1” key were provided.
Q.
What was the IBM 032?
A.
The IBM 032 Printing Punch of 1933 was the first machine to punch digits or alphabetic combinations, and
print the corresponding letters across the top margin of the card.
(For a photograph of this product, see our online exhibit, "Antique Attic Volume 2" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the 040?
A.
Information about, and an image of, the IBM 040 tape controlled card punch is available online at
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4003.html
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Q.
What was the IBM 46?
A.
The IBM 46 was a tape to card punch. For additional information about the IBM 46, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html
Q.
What was the IBM 47?
A.
The IBM 47 was a tape to card punch. For additional information about the IBM 47, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html
Q.
What was the IBM 63?
A.
Announced in August 1948, the Type 63 Card Controlled Tape Punch was able to read alphabetical and
numerical information in IBM punched cards and perforate five-channel telegraphic tape with that data. (One roll of
punched tape was the equivalent of approximately 1,500 cards.) The machine consisted of a card reading unit and a
tape punching unit. The Type 63 was withdrawn from marketing in January 1972 — after nearly a quarter-century in
the IBM product lineup.
Q.
What was the Hollerith 070 Sorter?
A.
The original Hollerith electric tabulating system did not have an adequate method for sorting cards. This
became a problem in the 1900 agricultural census, so Herman Hollerith (1860-1929) developed an automatic sorter.
The first one was a tabletop model with the bins arranged horizontally. Later, when his system was gaining favor
commercially, Hollerith redesigned the sorter into a sturdier, vertical machine that would not take up too much space
in small railroad offices. The 070 Vertical Sorting Machine of 1908 could operate at a rate of 250-270 cards a
minute.
(An image of the Type 70 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2170.html)
Q.
What was the Type 71?
A.
Introduced in 1928, the IBM Type 71 Vertical Sorter automatically grouped cards of similar classification
and at the same time arranged such classifications in a numerical sequence. It was equipped with 12 pockets,
corresponding to the 12 punching positions on a card, with a capacity of 80 cards each at a speed of 150 cards a
minute.
Q.
What was the Type 077?
A.
Introduced in 1937, the Type 077 collator fed and compared two sets of punched cards simultaneously to
match or merge them. While doing so, the collator could separate the cards which matched from those that did not,
making it possible to pull or file the cards automatically. The Type 077 was withdrawn from marketing in November
1957.
(Additional information about, and an image of, the 077 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4004.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM Type 80?
A.
The Type 80 Electric Punched Card Sorting Machine was the first horizontal card sorter, introduced by
IBM in 1925 to operate at almost twice the speeds of the older Type 70 vertical sorter. It could process up to 450
cards a minute. This machine used a direct magnetically operated control for the chute blades which replaced a
much more complex mechanical device in the older machine. The Type 80 grouped all cards of similar classification
(such as “sales by products”) and at the same time arranged such classifications in numerical sequence. With 10,200
units on rental at the close of 1943, the Type 80 had the largest inventory for any machine at that time. It was
withdrawn from marketing in 1956.
Q.
What was the IBM 087?
A.
IBM announced the 087 collator on November 27, 1957. It was the one of the first two products developed
by the company's laboratory in Rochester, Minn., as a redesign of existing collators already built in Rochester. The
87 collator compared alphabetic, numerical, and special character data punched into cards while performing many
card filing and selection operations.
(Additional information about, and an image of, this product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4013.html)
Q.
What was the 090?
A.
The Type 090 Non-Printing Tabulator was one of the most successful tabulators of the early 1900s. It was
the first machine to read punched-card data automatically and to simultaneously accumulate totals of multipleinteger numbers. A plug board permitted the operator to change the program of electrical circuits. The Type 090
remained in the product line until 1948.
Q.
What was the 91?
A.
The Type 91, also known as a vertical tabulator, was announced in 1928 as a multiple adding machine for
punched cards. This machine added from one to three groups of figures in a single operation at the rate of 90 cards a
minute or 16,200 additions an hour. The Type 91 was withdrawn from marketing in June 1948.
Q.
What was the 095?
A.
The IBM 095 Punched Card Counter was introduced in 1920 to record and calculate transactions and data.
Equipped with 14 counters, the 095’s flexibility made it especially adaptable for compiling statistics by large
businesses and organizations.
Q.
What was the IBM 285?
A.
IBM introduced the Type 285 electric bookkeeping and accounting machine (printing tabulator) in 1933.
All machines were basically wired for installation of five counters of either adding or balance type, and they were
wired for installation of seven print banks.
(An image of the 285 is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4005.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 301 (Type IV)?
A.
The 301 (better known as the Type IV) Accounting Machine was the first card-controlled machine to
incorporate class selection, automatic subtraction and printing of a net positive or negative balance. Dating to 1928,
this machine exemplifies the transition from tabulating to accounting machines. The Type IV could list 100 cards
per minute.
(For a photograph of this product, see our online exhibit, "Antique Attic Volume 2" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 305 RAMAC?
A.
IBM announced the 305 Random Access Memory Accounting Machine (RAMAC) on September 13,
1956, as a “revolutionary new product to accelerate the trend toward office and plant automation.” It made
“continuous accounting” or “in-line data processing” possible, whereby all affected records are adjusted
immediately after a transaction occurs.
The 305 system was built around a magnetic disk memory unit with a storage capacity of five million digits.
Information in the form of magnetic spots was stored on both sides of 50 metal disks, arranged in a vertical stack
which rotated at 1,200 revolutions a minute. An access arm moved rapidly up and down, reaching between the
spinning disks to retrieve the stored data. After processing, the information obtained was reproduced by the printer
unit or punched into IBM cards. RAMAC could record or recall information from magnetic disks in milliseconds
and in any sequence.
The monthly rental for a basic RAMAC was $3,200, of which $650 was for the disk storage unit, $1,625 for the
processing unit and power supply, and $925 for the console, printer and card punch. More than a thousand of these
vacuum tube-based computers were built before production ended in 1961.
Q.
What was the IBM 350?
A.
The IBM 350 was a disk storage unit used with the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Memory
Accounting) system, introduced in September 1956.
(For additional information about the 350, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes: The Heritage of
IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_350.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 355?
A.
The IBM 355 was a disk storage unit used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
(For additional information about the 355, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes: The Heritage of
IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_355.html)
Q.
What was the 401?
A.
The 401, introduced in 1933, was an early entry in a long series of IBM alphabetic tabulators and
accounting machines. It was developed by a team headed by J. R. Peirce and incorporated significant functions and
features invented by A. W. Mills, F. J. Furman and E. J. Rabenda. The 401 added at a speed of 150 cards per minute
and listed alphanumerical data at 80 cards per minute.
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Q.
What was the IBM Type 405?
A.
Introduced in 1934, the 405 Alphabetical Accounting Machine was the basic bookkeeping and accounting
machine marketed by IBM for many years. Important features were expanded adding capacity, greater flexibility of
counter grouping, direct printing of entire alphabet, direct subtraction and printing of either debit or credit balance
from any counter. Commonly called the 405 “tabulator,” this machine remained the flagship of IBM’s product line
until after World War II.
(Additional information about, and an image of, the 405 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4006.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 407?
A.
The IBM 407 was an alphabetical accounting machine that was used with the IBM 650 Data Processing
System.
(For additional information about the 407, visit our virtual exhibit "Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650"
available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
(Other information about the 407 and an image are available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4007.html)
Q.
What was the 501?
A.
Brought to market in 1926, the IBM Type 501 Automatic Numbering Gang Punch automatically recorded
on a series of punched cards common fixed data from a master card. This punch operated at the rate of 125 cards per
minute, and was withdrawn from marketing in April 1948.
Q.
What was the 514?
A.
The IBM 514 was a reproducing punch that was first announced in February 1949. Additional information
about, and an image of, this product is available at http://www-
03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4011.html
Q.
What was the 516?
A.
Announced in 1932, the Type 516 was designed for the automatic preparation of punched cards
simultaneously with the tabulating operation. This punch was connected to an IBM 285 Numerical Accounting
Machine via a 6.5-foot cable but could also be disconnected and operated independently. The 516 punched
approximately 10 columns per second.
Q.
What was the 523?
A.
The IBM 523 gang summary punch made its debut on February 17, 1949. When attached
to an IBM 400-series accounting machine, the 523 punched summary cards for various totals at
the rate of 100 cards a minute. Additional information about, and an image of, this product is
available at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4012.html
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Q.
What as the 533?
A.
The IBM 533 was a card read punch used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
(For additional information about, and an image of, the IBM 533, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 537?
A.
The IBM 537 was a card read punched used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
(For additional information about, and an image of, the IBM 537, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 543?
A.
The IBM 543 was a card reader used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
(For additional information about the IBM 543, visit our virtual exhibit "Workhorse Of Modern
Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 544?
A.
The IBM 544 Card Punch was announced on January 12, 1959. It provided output speed
of up to 250 punched cards per minute. An offset stacker was available as optional equipment.
The 544 was withdrawn on August 18, 1969.
Q.
What was the IBM 550?
A.
Introduced in 1930, the IBM 550 Automatic Interpreter was the first commercial IBM
machine capable of sensing numerical data punched in cards and printing such data across the
top of each card. A plugboard enabled the printed information to be placed in any sequence. The
machine automatically interpreted at the rate of 75 cards a minute or 4,500 cards an hour. The
feeding hopper had a capacity of 800 cards, and the stacker in which the interpreted cards were
deposited had a capacity of 1,000 cards. The 550 was used in checking, filing, selection and
reference applications.
(For an image of this product, see our online exhibit, "Antique Attic Volume 1" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the Type 552?
A.
The Type 552 Alphabetic Interpreter was announced in 1937. It translated the holes
punched in IBM cards and printed the corresponding numerical and alphabetic data across the
face of the card while processing 60 cards per minute. The Type 552 was withdrawn in
December 1957.
Q.
What was the IBM 600?
A.
The Type 600 Automatic Multiplying Punch was announced in 1931 as the first machine
that could read numbers from a card, multiply the numbers together and punch the answer in the
same card. Later, features were added that permitted cross-addition, group multiplying,
subtraction and class selection of items to perform complex calculations.
Q.
What was the 603?
A.
Information about, and an image of, the IBM 603 electronic multiplier is available online
at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2193.html
Q.
What was the IBM 608?
A.
Detailed information about, and an image of, the IBM 608 calculator is available online
at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2214.html
Q.
What was the IBM 610?
A.
Detailed information about, and an image of, the IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer is
available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4001.html
Q.
What was the IBM 650?
A.
Announced as the IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator in July 1953, the 650 became the
most popular computer of the 1950s. It was operated by coded instructions stored on a magnetic
drum, and was used to solve commercial or technical problems.
The basic IBM 650 consisted of two units — IBM 650 Console Unit and IBM 655 Power Unit.
Some of the 650’s features as described in IBM publications of the time were:
y
Magnetic Drum Memory — 20,000 digit (2,000 word) or 10,000 digit (1,000 word).
Stores data and instructions governing proper operation for each step in a procedure.
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y
y
y
Automatic table look-up.
Console permits visible inspection of any machine location and altering of instructions.
Discrepancies automatically detected and indicated on a visible panel through
programming.
The 650 was viewed as the foundation of a flexible and integrated “building block” data
processing system. IBM machines could be added to the 650 to provide for punched card inputoutput, line printed output, magnetic tape input-output, high-speed magnetic core storage,
indexing accumulators, and automatic floating-decimal arithmetic in various combinations.
By the time the last IBM 650 was manufactured in 1962, nearly 2,000 of the machines had been
delivered to customers — the most of any electronic computer of that period.
(For additional information on, and images of the 650, visit our virtual exhibit "Workhorse Of
Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 652?
A.
The IBM 652 was the control unit used with the IBM 650 system.
(For additional information about, and an image of, the IBM 652, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 653?
A.
The 653 was announced on May 3, 1955 as an auxiliary unit for the IBM 650.
(For an image of the IBM 653, visit our virtual exhibit "Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The
IBM 650" available at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 654?
A.
The IBM 654 Auxiliary Alphabetic Unit was announced on October 7, 1957 and was
used for increased alphabetic input-output capacity with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
Q.
What was the IBM 655?
A.
The IBM 655 was a power unit used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
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(For additional information about, and an image of, the IBM 655, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 701?
A.
The 701 Electronic Data Processing Machines System, introduced in 1952, was IBM’s
first commercially available scientific computer and the first IBM machine in which programs
were stored in an internal, addressable electronic memory. Using cathode ray tube (Williams
tube) memory for speed and flexibility, the 701 could process more than 2,000 multiplications
and divisions a second. From the 701 technology came not only the 702, 704, 705 and 709
computers but also a new orientation to the electronic stored-program computer.
The machine number 701 was also used to designate the 701 Electronic Analytical Control Unit,
which was formally announced on May 21, 1952. It was the unit of the overall 701 Data
Processing System in which actual calculations were performed. That activity involved 274
assemblies executing all the system’s computing and control functions by means of electronic
pulses emitted at speeds ranging up to one million a second.
The 701 contained the arithmetic components, the input and output control circuitry, and the
stored program control circuitry. Also mounted on the 701 was the operator’s panel. The
arithmetic section contained the memory register, accumulator register and the multiplierquotient register. Each register had a capacity of 35 bits and sign. The accumulator register also
had two extra positions called register overflow positions.
The control section decoded the stored programs and directed the machine in automatically
performing its instructions. Instructions could only be entered into the control section through
electrostatic storage or manually from the operator’s panel. The entire machine could be
manually controlled from the operator’s panel through various buttons, keys, switches and signal
lights. The operator could manually control the insertion of information into electrostatic storage
or the various registers. The contents of the various registers could also be displayed in neon
lights for the operator to observe.
The operator’s panel was used primarily when beginning an operation on the 701 and when
initially testing a program for a new operation.
Also included with the Analytical Control Unit were the IBM 736 Power Frame #1, 741 Power
Frame #2 and the 746 Power Distribution Unit. Those three power units supplied the power for
all units in the 701 system.
The functional machine cycle of the 701 was 12 microseconds; the time required to execute an
instruction or a sequence of instructions was an integral multiple of this cycle or 456
microseconds were required for the execution of a multiply or divide instruction. The 701 could
execute 33 different operations.
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In the above view of the 701, the computing and control section is open, revealing part of its
intricate wiring. At the immediate right of the operator’s position is the IBM 711 Punched Card
Reader, where the operator inserted punched cards carrying additional data or instructions.
The monthly rental for a 701 unit was approximately $8,100. The 701 was withdrawn from
marketing on October 1, 1954.
(For additional information on the 701, visit our virtual exhibit “A Notable First” available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 702?
A.
The IBM 702 Electronic Data Processing Machine, announced in 1953 , was designed
primarily for business use but could also handle scientific and engineering applications.
(A profile of the 702 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
Http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 704?
A.
The IBM 704 Electronic Data Processing Machine, introduced in 1954, was the first
large-scale commercially available computer to employ fully automatic floating point arithmetic
commands. It was a large-scale, electronic digital computer used for solving complex scientific,
engineering and business problems. Input and output could be binary, decimal, alphabetic or
special character code, such as binary coded decimal which includes decimal, alphabetic and
special characters. A key feature of the 704 was FORTRAN (Automatic Formula Translation),
which was an advanced program for automatically translating mathematical notation to optimum
machine programs.
A contemporary IBM publication listed the following features for the 704:
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
32,768, 8,192 or 4,096 words of high-speed magnetic core storage. (A word consists of
36 binary digits — slightly larger than a 10 decimal digit number).
Any word is individually addressable.
Any word in magnetic core storage can be located and transferred in 12 millionths of a
second.
Single address type stored program controls all operations.
Internal number system is binary.
Executes most instructions at a rate of 40,000 per second.
Built-in instructions provide maximum flexibility with minimum programming.
A parallel machine, it operates on a full word simultaneously.
Magnetic tape input-output units permit masses of data to enter and leave the internal
memory of the machine at high speed.
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Auxiliary tape-to-card, card-to-tape, and tape-to-printer operations can be performed with
additional IBM equipment.
(A profile of the 704 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 705?
A.
When the IBM 705 Electronic Data Processing Machine was launched in 1954, it was one
of the most powerful data processing systems then available, and with the IBM 704, the first
commercial machines with core memories. Developed primarily to handle business data, it could
multiply numbers as large as one billion at a rate of over 400 per second.
The 705 was made up of a Central Processing Unit and various types and combinations of input
and output units.
The computer’s memory consisted of tiny ferrite cores strung on frameworks of wire. Some
20,000 or 40,000 alphabetic and numerical characters were stored on magnetized cores. Words,
numbers or instructions were represented by the magnetic or neutral state of groups of cores, and
were available for calculation in millionths of a second — the fastest electronic storage of the
time. Problems which had previously required weeks or months to solve could be handled by the
705 in a matter of minutes.
In a 1954 IBM publication, the 705 was credited with the following features:
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
Forty thousand or twenty thousand characters of high-speed magnetic core storage.
Any one of the characters in magnetic core storage can be located or transferred in 17
millionths of a second.
Any one of these characters is individually addressable.
Magnetic tape input-output units permit masses of data to enter and leave the internal
memory of the machine at high speed.
A simultaneous read and write feature permits recording of tape during the same cycle
that reading takes place.
The flexibility of the system allows any reasonable number of input or output devices.
Stored instructions can be modified at will.
Automatic checking devices keep the operations under constant electronic scrutiny for
(A profile of the 705 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
Http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 706?
A.
The IBM 706 Electrostatic Storage Unit was formally announced on May 21, 1954. Its
banks of cathode ray tubes, similar in principle to television tubes, were the heart of the IBM 701
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Data Processing System. They gave the machine much of its tremendous speed and flexibility.
The 72 cathode ray tubes in the Electrostatic Storage Unit could store 10,240 digits, any of which
could be obtained for processing at other points of the machine in 12 microseconds. The Model 1
of the 706 accommodated 2,048 full words of 36 bits or 4,096 half words of 18 bits. A maximum
of 4,096 full words of 36 bits or 8,192 half words were available when both the Models 1 and 2
were installed.
The principal advantages of Electrostatic Storage was the short time required to refer to
information at any given location and send it to the computing unit, and the random access to any
706 location afforded the programmer.
The Model 1 had a monthly rental charge of approximately $2,600, and the Model 2 was rented
at $3,500 a month. Customers could specify the IBM 737 Magnetic Core Storage Unit in lieu of
the 706 at a monthly charge of $6,100. The 706 was withdrawn from marketing on June 6, 1956.
Q24.
What was the IBM 709?
A24. The IBM 709 Data Processing System was introduced in January 1957, and was the first
equipment of its capacity to work with equal facility on both commercial and scientific or
engineering problems. Like the 704 and 705, the 709 also featured rapid access, high capacity
magnetic core “memory.” Another aid to the 709’s high-powered operation was a new data
synchronizer unit which permitted the system to read, write, and calculate simultaneously.
The 709 used instructions unlike any of those found in contemporary stored program computers.
Developed to provide greater programming flexibility, they included conversion instructions
which permitted the machine to rapidly perform calculations on data prepared in number systems
other than the 709’s basic system of binary arithmetic. That meant that all problem data could be
kept in whatever form was most economical and desirable for the work at hand, rather than in a
number system compatible to the computer.
Arithmetical operations were performed by the IBM 709 at “amazingly high speeds,” according
to the 1957 IBM announcement press release. The release also reported that:
The new system can handle up to 42,000 additions or substractions a second; multiplications or divisions are
performed at speeds of up to 5,000 a second. An important contributing factor to this extraordinary calculating
speed is the 709’s rapid access, high capacity core storage or “memory.” Up to 32,768 “words” of problem or
instruction data can be held in core storage, a “word” being equal to a ten decimal digit number. This means that
the equivalent of over 327,000 decimal digits can be stored in the 709’s magnetic core storage. Any “word” in
core storage can be located and made ready for use in only 12 millionths of a second. The magnetic core storage
unit’s tremendous capacity fulfills the need for completely internal high-speed handling of voluminous problem
data, reference tables, and lengthy programs.
The IBM 709 was withdrawn from marketing in April 1960.
(A profile of the 709 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 711?
A.
The IBM 711 Punched Card Reader was announced May 21, 1952. Located to the
immediate right of the operator’s station, the card reader was used to transfer information on
IBM punched cards into the IBM 701 Data Processing System. It could read 150 cards a minute.
The card-feeding mechanism in the 711 was similar to that in the IBM 402 Accounting Machine
and included two sets of reading brushes. Any 72 columns of the punched card could be selected
through control panel wiring to read into 72 positions of Electrostatic Storage. The cards could
be punched with any desirable code. Users had to provide a suitable program so that the
particular code used on the card could be translated into the binary code used by the 701.
The 711, which rented for $200 a month, was withdrawn from marketing on November 23,
1956.
Q.
What was the IBM 716?
A.
The IBM 716 Alphabetic Printer, used for printing the answers from problems calculated
on the 701 Data Processing System, was formally announced on May 21, 1952. It could print
150 lines of numeric, alphabetic or special characters a minute or 180 letters or numbers per
second.
The 716 printed information contained in storage by means of 120 type wheels. Each wheel
could be controlled to print one of 26 letters, any digit from 0 to 9, or nine special characters,
such as asterisks, dollar signs and diagonals.
The monthly rental charge for the 716 was $800 in 1955. The printer was withdrawn from
marketing on July 14, 1969.
Q.
What was the IBM 721?
A.
The IBM 721 Punched Card Recorder was formally announced on May 21, 1952. It was
used for punching answers to problems and other data onto IBM punched cards for processing by
the IBM 701 Data Processing System. Punched card input was at 600 digits per second and 100
cards a minute.
This machine could also be used as an automatic set-up gang punch when not employed in the
701 system. It rented for $200 a month in 1955. The 721 was withdrawn from marketing on July
14, 1969.
Q.
What was the IBM 726?
A.
The IBM 726 Magnetic Tape Reader/Recorder was formally announced on May 21,
1952.
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Magnetic tapes used with the 701 Data Processing System provided a high-speed method of
introducing and recording greater masses of data than were possible through either cathode ray
tube or drum storage. The magnetic tape could read or write at a rate of 12,500 digits a second
and had a capacity in excess of 2 million digits a tape. It was used as an output unit to provide
large-capacity storage for programs and data or as a high-speed input unit for information
previously recorded on a reel of magnetic tape.
The tape used by the 726 was an oxide-coated, non-metallic tape, approximately a half-inch
wide. Information was recorded on the tape in six channels that ran parallel to the length of the
tape. A seventh channel on the tape served to check the reading and writing of the other six
channels by an odd-number redundancy check. The tape density was 100 bits per linear inch.
Tapes could be interchanged between different 726 units. Two 1,200-foot and two 200-foot reels
of magnetic tape were furnished as standard.
Reading and recording data on magnetic tapes was intermittent, making high-speed starting and
stopping an essential capability of the reader/recorder. Through a unique control system
developed for the 726, a tape reached full speed in 1/100th of a second, or before moving half an
inch.
The 726 could handle two reels of tape simultaneously, and there were two 726 units in the 701
system. It rented for $850 a month.
Q.
What was the IBM 727?
A.
The IBM 727 Magnetic Tape Unit was announced on September 25, 1953. It provided
intermediate speed, large capacity storage for programs and data with the IBM 701 Data
Processing System, and it was also used as a high-speed input unit for information previously
recorded on magnetic tape.
Selector circuits in the IBM 701 could control from one to five 727 units. When more than five
727 units were to be operated with the 701 system, additional circuits had to be ordered, which
could then be field installed. Recording density was 200 bits per linear inch. Tape could be read
in a forward direction or back-spaced at a rate of 75 inches per second. Tape could be rewound at
an average rate of 500 inches per second. The reading or writing rate was 15,000 characters a
second.
For transferring data from punched cards to magnetic tape, an IBM 714 Card Reader and an IBM
759 Card Reader Control Unit were connected to the 727. The speed of recording was 250 cards
a minute. For transferring data from tape to cards, an IBM 722 Card Reader and an IBM 758
Card Punch Control Unit were connected to the IBM 727. Records of 80 characters or less could
be punched at a speed of 100 cards per minute. For transferring data from tape to print, an IBM
717 Printer and IBM 757 Printer Control Unit were connected to the 727. Information could be
printed at a speed of 150 lines a minute.
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The 727 was also used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System and was employed as a tape
unit with the IBM 705 Data Processing System, which was introduced on October 1, 1954.
Renting for $550 a month, the 727 was withdrawn from marketing on May 12, 1971.
(For additional information about, and an image of, the IBM 727 in the former role, visit our
virtual exhibit "Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 729 II?
A.
Brought to market in September 1958, the 729 II Magnetic Tape Unit combined compact
storage facilities and high-speed input/output operations for the IBM 1410 Data Processing
System. Up to 20 tape units could be attached to the 1410. The 729 II had a read-write speed of
15,000 or 41,667 characters per second, a recording density of 200 or 556 characters to the inch,
and a high-speed rewind capability of 1.2 minutes per 2,400 foot reel. When recorded
information was no longer needed, the tape could be used to record and store new data; the write
operation automatically erased old information. The 729 II was withdrawn from marketing in
December 1971.
Q.
What was the IBM 731?
A.
The IBM 731 Magnetic Drum Reader/Recorder was formally announced on May 21,
1952. It was the intermediate storage device of the 701 Data Processing System because it
offered greater capacity than the cathode ray tubes in the IBM 706 Electrostatic Storage Unit but
it had a slower access speed.
Each of the two drums in the Magnetic Drum Reader and Recorder stored 40,960 digits, for a
total capacity of 81,920 digits. The reading and writing heads, approximately 1/1,000th of an
inch from each drum surface, read and wrote data while the drum spun at 29,29 revolutions a
minute. The average time for transmitting one word was 1.28 milliseconds. The average random
access time was 50 milliseconds. Each digit, recorded as a small magnetized spot on the face of
the drum, could be recalled in an average of 40/1,000th of a second. Characters could be retained
indefinitely in this unit as turning off the power had no effect on the contents.
The 731, which rented for $1,400 a month, was withdrawn from marketing on October 10, 1954.
Q.
What was the IBM 737?
A.
The IBM 737 Magnetic Core Storage Unit was formally announced on October 1, 1954.
Users of the IBM 701 Data Processing System could specify the 737 in lieu of the IBM 706
Electrostatic Storage Unit to gain the advantage of magnetic core storage, viz., the elimination of
regeneration time and the reduction of processing time in many applications. For example, the
737 reduced the time needed to perform additions, including access, from 60 microseconds to 36
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microseconds. This faster processing speed was especially beneficial in problems involving large
amounts of logic.
The unit was available with one capacity of 4,096 36-bit words. When the 737 replaced the IBM
706, the system’s 701 Electronic Analytical Control Unit had to be altered. Customers could rent
a 737 for a fee of $6,100 a month.
The IBM 737 Magnetic Core Storage Unit also could be used with the IBM 704 and IBM 709
Data Processing Systems.
Q.
What was the IBM 740?
A.
The IBM 740 Cathode Ray Tube Output Recorder, which was formally announced on
October 12, 1954, was an electronic device attached to the IBM 701 Data Processing System. It
provided output which recorded data points on the faces of a pair of television-like tubes at the
rate of 8,000 per second. The larger tube, used for visual display and inspection, was a 21-inch
tube. The smaller tube, used in conjunction with a camera, was a 7-inch tube. A customerfurnished camera was controlled by the 701 and automatically photographed information
directed by the program.
The 740 allowed decision making and possible intervention by the operator as the computation
progressed. The device provided scientists and engineers with greater speed and accuracy in
designing many types of equipment. For example, the shape of a cam could be computed and the
shape, together with successive positions of the cam, could be displayed on the 740 at electronic
speeds, inspected and then photographed for a permanent record. By using appropriate
programming techniques, the 740 also could be used to display alphabetic characters, geometric
shapes, engineering symbols and graphs. Traffic schedules or machine shop loadings, for
example, could be shown on the 740, giving the operator the opportunity to monitor and
incorporate data to facilitate the solution.
The recording unit had an accuracy of 0.1 percent and the display unit had a 3.0 percent
accuracy. (0.1 percent means that if a point with the same coordinates were to be displayed
twice, the successive spots would differ in position by not more than 0.1 percent of full scale.)
The time consumed in displaying a particular point was approximately 125 microseconds. The
recording unit had a persistence of several microseconds and the display unit had a persistence of
approximately 20 seconds.
Renting for $2,850 a month, the IBM 740 also was used with the IBM 704 and IBM 709 Data
Processing Systems.
Q.
What was the IBM 753?
A.
The IBM 753 Magnetic Tape Control Unit was announced October 1, 1954. Used with
both the IBM 701 and IBM 704 Data Processing Systems, the 753 provided power and control
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circuitry for IBM 727 magnetic tape units attached to the 701. Up to ten 727 units could be
connected to the 753. The monthly rental charge for a 753 was $2,500.
Q.
What was the IBM 803?
A.
Debuting in July 1949, the IBM 803 Proof Machine was used to sort, list, prove and
endorse checks, sales tickets, vouchers and other business documents in a single operation.
Containing 32 sorting receptacles, the 803 had a number of compartment adding tapes. A control
tape recorded all transactions in the original sequence, with sub and final totals of distributions.
The ten-key electrified adding machine keyboard simplified the 803's operation. The machine
also had signal lights to indicate the near depletion of the tape supply and other operating
conditions. The 803 Proof Machine was withdrawn in December 1981 after more 30 years in the
product catalogue.
(An image of the 803 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2199.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 805?
A.
IBM announced the 805 in 1938 as a further refinement of a device invented by R. B.
Johnson (later an IBM Fellow). Tests to be scored by the 805 were answered by marking spaces
in pencil on separate answer sheets, which were dropped into the machine for processing. Test
scores could be recorded at 800-to-1,000 sheets per hour. The 805 was withdrawn from
marketing in January 1963.
(For additional information on the 805, visit our virtual exhibit “They Also Served” available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 838?
A.
The 838 was an inquiry station used with the IBM 650 Data Processing System.
(For additional information about, and an image of, the IBM 838, visit our virtual exhibit
"Workhorse Of Modern Industry: The IBM 650" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/650/650_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 1013?
A.
Announced in October 1961, the 1013 Card Transmission Terminal transmitted data from
punched cards at speeds up to 300 characters per second (cps) and punched received data into
cards at a rate of 160 cps. When transmitting, data in the punched cards was photosensed and
entered into buffer storage. Once there and under the control of the 1013’s stored program, data
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could be added, deleted or sequentially stored for transmission. In addition, the 1013
automatically detected errors and retransmitted corrected data. It was withdrawn from marketing
in January 1977.
Q.
What was the IBM 1050?
A.
The 1050 Data Communications System was a multipurpose, station or office-oriented
data communication terminal system that was announced in March 1963 specifically for
important data record keeping and transmission functions. It operated over established
communication lines to provide rapid, dependable communications between remote locations
and a central data processing site. The 1050 system consisted of the 1051 control unit, 1052
printer-keyboard, 1053 printer, 1054 paper tape reader, 1055 paper tape punch and 1056 card
reader. These various components were withdrawn from marketing between February 1974 and
June 1978.
Q.
What was the IBM 1130?
A.
The IBM 1130 Computing System was announced in February 1965 as the “lowest-priced
stored program computer ever marketed by IBM.” Capable of performing 120,000 additions a
second, the system was offered for lease for as little as $695 a month and for sale at $32,280. The
1130 used microelectronic circuits employing IBM’s Solid Logic Technology similar to those
used by the IBM System/360. It was manufactured in San Jose, Calif., and Greenock, Scotland.
(For additional information about the IBM 1130, visit our virtual exhibit devoted to that product
at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/1130/1130_intro.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 1301?
A.
The 1301 Disk Storage Unit was announced in June 1961 with an ability to monitor as
many as 280 million characters of information in a single system by making use of comb-like
arms flying on layers of air. Compared with the innovative IBM RAMAC, the 1301 provided a
thirteen fold increase in storage density and three times faster average access to information. The
1301 could be linked to any of five intermediate-to-large solid-state IBM computers (1410, 7070,
7074, 7080 and 7090) or shared by any two of them. One unit could store between 50 million
and 56 million characters of information, depending on the computer to which it was connected.
Up to five 1301s could be used in a single system. The 1301 was withdrawn from marketing in
October 1970.
(For additional information about the 1301, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_1301.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 1302?
A.
The IBM 1302 disk storage unit was an improved version of the IBM 1301, with four
times the storage capacity.
(For additional information about the 1302, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_1302.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 1311?
A.
The IBM 1311 disk storage drive provided storage for 2 million characters and it
furnished twice the recording density of the 1301.
(For additional information about the 1311, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_1311.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 1401?
A.
The all-transistorized 1401 Data Processing System placed such features as high-speed
card punching and reading, magnetic tape input and output, high-speed printing, stored program
and arithmetic and logical ability in the hands of smaller businesses that had previously been
limited to using conventional punched card equipment.
Announced in October 1959, the 1401 was equipped with ferrite-core memories having
capacities of 1,400, 2,000 or 4,000 characters. The system could be configured to use punchedcards and magnetic tape, and could be used either as a stand-alone computer or as a peripheral
system for larger computers. The 1401 processing unit could perform 193,300 additions of eightdigit numbers in one minute.
The monthly rental for a 1401 was $2,500 and up, depending on the configuration. By the end of
1961, the number of 1401s installed in the United States alone had reached 2,000 — representing
about one out every four electronic stored-program computers installed by all manufacturers at
that time. The number of installed 1401s peaked at more than 10,000 in the mid-1960s, and the
system was withdrawn from marketing in February 1971.
(A profile of the 1401 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html.)
Q.
What was the IBM 1402?
A.
The 1402 Card Read-Punch could read card information into the IBM 1401 processing
unit punch cards and separate them into radial stackers. The cards could be easily removed while
the machine was running. Maximum speeds for the 1402 were 250 cards per minute for punching
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and 800 cards per minute for reading. Announced in October 1959, the 1402 was withdrawn
from marketing in February 1971.
Q.
What was the IBM 1403?
A.
When introduced in October 1959, the 1403 Printer was a completely new development
providing maximum throughput of forms and documents in printing data from punched cards
and magnetic tape. The printer incorporated a swiftly moving horizontal chain (similar in
appearance to a bicycle chain) of engraved type faces, operated by 132 electronically-timed
hammers spaced along the printing line. The impact of a hammer pressed the paper and ink
ribbon against a type character, causing it to print. The chain principle achieved perfect
alignment of the printed line and greatly reduced the number of sets of type characters needed.
The 1403 printer could produce over 230 two-line documents, such as checks, per minute or the
equivalent of a printing speed of 4,800 lines per minute. The 1403 was withdrawn from
marketing in February 1971.
Q.
What was the IBM 1405?
A.
The 1405 Disk Storage Unit was introduced in October 1960. To improve on IBM’s
RAMAC technology, the 1405 engineers doubled two parameters — tracks per inch and bits per
inch of track — to deliver a fourfold increase in capacity. The 1405 storage units were available
in 25 and 50 disk models, with 10 million and 20 million characters each, respectively.
The 1405 was used in Walnut, an information retrieval system that was developed for the U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency and delivered in late 1962. Walnut was the first mechanized system
that could feasibly store and search millions of pages of documents. The 1405 withdrawn from
marketing in June 1970.
(For additional information about the 1405, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_1405.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 1410?
A.
The IBM 1410 Data Processing System was announced in September 1960, and could
process data using punched cards, magnetic tape or magnetic disks.
(A profile of the 1410 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 1440?
A.
Introduced by IBM in October 1962 as “one of the most important new products we have
ever developed,” the 1440 Data Processing System was a low-cost compact electronic computer
designed specifically for small and medium-size business firms. It incorporated a major
achievement in the data storage technology of the time — disk storage devices designed with
interchangeable packs, each containing six magnetic memory disks for a combined storage
capacity of nearly three million characters of information.
Besides the data packs, the 1440 contained the following other technological improvements: a
card read-punch that used the solar cell principle to read information from punched cards directly
into the central processing unit with increased accuracy and reliability; a printer equipped with
five interchangeable type bars for greater versatility; a console that contained the operating keys,
dials and switches that permitted operator control over the system; and a central processing unit
that had a core storage cycle of 11.1 millionths of a second.
The basic system, using the interchangeable disk packs, rented for about $2,600 monthly. The
1440 was withdrawn from marketing in February 1971.
Q.
What was the IBM 1620?
A.
The IBM 1620 was a general purpose, stored program data processing system for small
businesses, research and engineering departments of large companies, and schools requiring
solutions to complex problems in the areas of engineering, research and management science. It
was announced in October 1959 and withdrawn in November 1970.
(A profile of the 1620 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 1710?
A.
IBM's first multi-purpose industrial control system -- the IBM 1710 -- was introduced in
March 1961 and was designed for a wide variety of uses which called for the frequent sampling
and interpretation of data in the processing and manufacturing industries. Those uses included
quality control, industrial process study and process optimization. Additional information about,
and an image of, this product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4021.html
Q.
What was the 1800?
A.
When the IBM Data Processing Division introduced the company's 1800 data acquisition
and control system on November 30, 1964, it described it as "a computer that can monitor an
assembly line, control a steel-making process or analyze the precise status of a missile during test
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firing." Contributing to the system's versatility were a new disk storage cartridge (containing
512,000 words of information on a single magnetic disk) and pluggable packages of circuitry
which enabled the 1800 to monitor hundreds of variables of a production process. Additional
information about, and an image of, this product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4022.html
Q.
What was the IBM 2305?
A.
The IBM 2305 fixed head storage provided large-scale IBM computer systems of the
1970s with fast, continuous access to medium-sized quantities of information.
(For additional information about the 2305, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_2305.html)
Q.
What was the 2314?
A.
Announced one year after the System/360 in April 1965, the IBM 2314 direct access
storage facility provided eight disk drives and a spare along with a control unit together in one
facility.
(For additional information about the 2314, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_2314.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 2321?
A.
Known as the MARS file through much of its seven-year development, the IBM 2321
data cell drive was a random access device that could store up to 400 million alphanumeric
characters or up to 800 million decimal digits.
(For additional information about the 2321, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_2321.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 2361?
A
The IBM 2361 Core Storage Unit was introduced in April 1964 and built by IBM’s
Poughkeepsie, N.Y., manufacturing facilities with 16 times the capacity of any previous IBM
memory. In each 2361, almost 20 million ferrite cores — tiny doughnut-shaped objects, each
about the size of a pinhead — were strung in two-wire networks and packaged, with associated
circuitry, into a cabinet only five by 2 ½ feet and less than six feet tall. The 2361’s design
provided for storage of 524,000 36-bit words and a total cycle time of eight microseconds in
each memory. The 2361 was the first IBM memory to use two-wire core storage to increase
storage capacity, improve performance and reduce unit size.
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Cores were woven into each juncture of a screen-like mesh of wire to form a plane resembling a
small window screen. Memory circuits were associated with core planes in the 2361 and
included some 3,500 Solid Logic Technology modules and 35,000 high-current silicon diodes.
Major feats in fabricating the 2361 included soldering and testing 180,000 connections, and
welding and testing another 180,000 connections.
The 2361 was withdrawn from marketing in April 1965.
Q.
What was the IBM 2401?
A.
The IBM 2401 was a magnetic tape unit, designed initially for use with the IBM
System/360.
(For additional information about the 2401, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_2401.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 2420?
A.
IBM announced the 2420 in January 1968 as the fastest self-threading magnetic tape unit
using standard computer tape.
(For additional information about the 2420, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_2420.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3031?
A.
The IBM 3031 processor complex was announced in October 1977 to extend improved
levels of performance to users of intermediate and large computers.
(A profile of the 3031 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3032?
A.
Introduced in October 1977, the 3032 processor complex was designed for users who
wanted to expand their data processing capability but did not require the capacity or performance
of IBM’s top-of-the-line 3033 processor (see below).
(A profile of the 3032 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 3033?
A.
Designed as a successor to the System/370 Model 168, the 3033 Processor was
announced in May 1977. It was half the size, consumed half the power, required half the cooling
and was nearly twice as fast as the 168. IBM manufactured the 3033 in Poughkeepsie and
Kingston, N.Y.; Montpellier, France; and Yasu, Japan. The 3033 was withdrawn in February
1985.
(For detailed information about, and photographs of, this key product, visit our online exhibit,
"'The Big One': IBM's 3033" at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3081?
A.
The IBM 3081 Processor Complex joined the IBM product line in November 1980. It
offered 16, 24 or 32 million characters of main storage and had 16 or 24 integrated channels. The
3081 used a new “dyadic” design in which two processors, each with its own assigned set of
channels, shared main processor storage and operated under a single control program. It had a
maximum aggregate data transfer rate of 72 million characters per second and could attach to
most direct access storage devices used with other large IBM processors. An IBM 3081 Processor
Complex, which included a processor, processor controller, power unit, coolant distribution unit,
systems and operator’s consoles, with 16 channels and 16 million characters of main storage,
could be purchased at time of announcement for $4,046,240, while a 24 channel, 32 million
character IBM 3081 Processor Complex could be purchased for $4.6 million. Other models of the
3081 were introduced in October 1981, September 1982, March 1983 and February 1984. All
models were withdrawn from marketing in August 1987.
(A profile of the 3081 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3083?
A.
The IBM 3083 processor complex was introduced in March 1982 as a cost-effective
solution for users who required the power and performance of a medium to large data processing
system, and was initially available in seven models.
(A profile of the 3083 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3084?
A.
When it was rolled out in September 1982, the 3084 processor complex was the most
powerful computer in the IBM catalogue.
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(A profile of the 3084 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3090?
A.
The most powerful IBM computer of its time, the 3090 high-end processor of the IBM
308X computer series incorporated one-million-bit memory chips, Thermal Conduction Modules
to provide the shortest average chip-to-chip communication time of any large general purpose
computer, and the industry’s most advanced operating systems. Announced in February 1985,
the Model 200 (entry-level with two central processors) and Model 400 (with four central
processors) IBM 3090 had 64 and 128 megabytes of central storage, respectively. At the time of
announcement, the purchase price of a Model 200 was $5 million, and the machine was available
in November 1985. The Model 400 was available only as a field upgrade from the Model 200 at
a cost of $4.3 million beginning in the second quarter of 1987. A later six-processor IBM 3090
Model 600E, using vector processors, could perform computations up to 14 times faster than the
earlier four-processor IBM 3084.
(A profile of the 3090 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3270?
A.
The 3270 Information Display System was announced by IBM in May 1971. Developed
at IBM’s facility in Kingston, N.Y., the 3270 system brought new simplicity to the gathering and
communication of information. It could be attached to a System/370 or System/360 Model 25 or
larger. The 3270 system was withdrawn from marketing in October 1977.
Q.
What was the IBM 3284?
A.
Introduced in May 1971, the 3284 Hard Copy Printer was a cost-reduced printer that used
the no-work wire matrix print head. A sprocket feed similar to that of a typewriter was used for
paper feed along with a solenoid/ratchet mechanism. The 3284 ran at 40 characters per second. It
was withdrawn from marketing in August 1982.
Q.
What was the IBM 3310?
A.
The IBM 3310 direct access storage was a compact, economically priced, highperformance direct access storage device for use with the IBM 4331 processor.
(For additional information about the 3310, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3310.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 3330?
A.
The IBM 3330 was a high-performance, high-capacity direct access storage subsystem
for use with all IBM System/370 models as well as the IBM System/360 Model 195.
(For additional information about the 3330, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3330.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3340?
A.
The IBM 3340 -- sometimes known as “Winchester” -- was a direct access storage
facility introduced in March 1973 with advanced disk technology.
(For additional information about the 3340, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3340.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3350?
A.
Known during its development as “Madrid,” the IBM 3350 was introduced in 1975 and
extended the Winchester technology found in the 3340.
(For additional information about the 3350, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3350.html)
Q.
What was the 3370?
A.
The IBM 3370 direct access storage device of 1979 introduced thin-film head technology
to large disk files.
(For additional information about the 3370, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3370.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3380?
A.
Originally announced in June 1980, the IBM 3380 Direct Access Storage was available in
six models. Each unit could store up to 2.52 billion bytes and had an average seek time of 16
milliseconds and a data transfer rate of 3.0 megabytes per second. The 3380 used advanced film
head technology, higher density and new controller logic to achieve greater reliability and
improved environmental characteristics (less floor space, electrical power and heat dissipation
than any previous IBM disk storage product on an equal capacity basis). Some models of the
3380 were withdrawn in October 1981 and May 1986, and newer models were announced in
September 1987.
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(For additional information about the 3380, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3380.html)
Q.
What was the 3390?
A.
The IBM 3390 direct access storage device was rolled out in November 1989, offered up
to 22.7 billion bytes of storage and allowed customers to store more data in a single DASD than
ever before.
(For additional information about the 3390, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3390.html)
Q.
What was the 3410?
A.
The IBM 3410 magnetic tape subsystem of 1971 was used not only with the IBM
System/360 and System/370 mainframes but also extended tape storage capability to the small
IBM System/3 for the first time.
(For additional information about the 3410, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3410.html)
Q.
What was the 3420?
A.
Introduced in 1970, the IBM 3420 magnetic tape drive incorporated a number of
technological innovations. To improve the operation of tape and move some of its control
function out of the central processing unit, some instructions were moved to the tape drive.
(For additional information about the 3420, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3420.html)
Q.
What was the 3430?
A.
The IBM 3430 magnetic tape subsystem was a dual density, 50-inch-per-second tape
drive attachable to a number of host processors in the 1980s.
(For additional information about the 3430, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3430.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 3480?
A.
The 3480 magnetic tape subsystem of 1984 was a major milestone in IBM storage, using
rectangular tape cartridges to replace the traditional round tape reels.
(For additional information about the 3480, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3480.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3490E?
A.
In the early 1990s, IBM extended the capabilities of its 3480 product family by launching
the 36-track 3490E magnetic tape subsystem enhanced capability drive and a new extendedlength chromium dioxide tape.
(For additional information about the 3490E, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of
Bytes: The Heritage of IBM Storage” at
http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3490.html)
Q.
What is the Magstar MP 3570?
A.
The IBM Magstar MP (Multi-Purpose) 3570 tape subsystem, with its 5 gigabyte
cartridge, was the first small-form-factor, midpoint-load device.
(For additional information about the 3570, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3570.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3705?
A.
To reduce the load placed on host computers by network communications, IBM
announced the 3705 Communications Controller in March 1972. It could coordinate transmission
between a computer and remote terminals on up to 352 telephone lines — twice the capacity of
any previous IBM control unit. Equipped with its own small processor and memory capacity of
up to 240K, it could be programmed to emulate prior transmission control devices and to
perform many of the line management and data conversion tasks formerly handled by
System/360 host computers. It operated with all models of the System/370, and almost all the
terminal devices offered by IBM could be linked to the 3705. The 3705 was withdrawn from
marketing in December 1985.
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Q.
What was the IBM 3740?
A.
IBM introduced the 3740 data entry system on January 22, 1973. Additional information
about, and an image of, this product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4016.html
Q.
What was the IBM 3850?
A.
The “honeycomb” cell structure of the IBM 3850 Mass Storage System, introduced in
1974, stored small cartridges containing spools of magnetic tape. Each spool could store 50
million characters of information, and up to 472 billion characters could be economically filed in
one 3850 system for online computer use.
(For additional information about the 3850, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3850.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 3890?
A.
Announced in 1973, the 3890 Document Processor was designed to help banks to process
and distribute more checks faster and with fewer errors. It could read and sort a minimum of
2,400 six-inch documents per minute, and could print a batch and identification number on each
document to improve item control. Equipped with its own control and program storage, the 3890
could be linked directly to virtual storage models of IBM System/370 or used independently for
fine sorting operations.
Q.
What was the IBM 4331?
A.
The IBM 4331 processing system was announced in January 1979 featuring large-scale
technology to provide new and intermediate system users with significantly improved
price/performance. It was available in two models: one with 500,000 and the other with one
million characters of processor storage.
(A profile of the 4331 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 4341?
A.
Introduced in January 1979, the 4341 Processor provided high system performance for
commercial, engineering, scientific and academic users of intermediate size System/370s and
large System/360s. It was available in two model groups. Model Group 1 had an internal
performance rate up to 3.2 times faster than the System/370 Model 138 and up to four times the
processor storage capacity of the 138. Model Group 2 had an internal performance rate up to 1.8
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times that of Model Group 1 and a processor storage capacity up to two times that of Model
Group 1. The 4341 was withdrawn from marketing in February 1986.
(A profile of the 4341 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the 4361?
A.
The 4361 processor was announced in September 1983 and was a virtual storage system
with System/370 compatibility featuring Very Large Scale Integration technology. It was
designed for minimum physical space requirements.
(A profile of the 4361 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 4381?
A.
Boasting of state-of-the-art technology, IBM launched the 4381 processor in September
1983 to reenforce the company’s commitment to professional, engineering and scientific users.
Available in Model Groups 1 and 2, the 4381 was developed in IBM’s Endicott, N.Y., facility
and manufactured in Endicott; Vallencia, Spain and Sumare, Brazil. The 4381 bridged the gap in
the 1980s between IBM’s intermediate 4300 processors and the larger 308X processors. Among
its technology advances were high-density, 64-millimeter-square modules that contained a
maximum of 36 Large Scale Integration chips each, achieving up to 25,000 circuits per module.
Users could obtain up to 16 megabytes of memory with the 4381, and up to 12 input/output
channels. The 4381 was withdrawn from marketing in February 1986.
(A profile of the 4381 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the Style 5011?
A.
The Style 5011 was a ¼ horsepower electric coffee mill manufactured in the 1920s and
early 1930s IBM’s Dayton Scale Company — formerly, the Computing Scale Company of
America and later, an IBM division — and was priced at about $135.
Q.
What was the IBM 5100?
Weighing approximately 50 pounds, the 5100 Portable Computer was announced in
September 1975 to put computer capabilities at the fingertips of engineers, analysts, statisticians,
and other problem-solvers. Available in 12 models providing 16K, 32K, 48K or 64K positions of
main storage, the 5100 sold for between $8,975 and $19,975. A late-1960’s computer with the
A.
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equivalent capacity and performance of the 5100, would have been nearly as large as two desks
and would have weighed about half a ton. The 5100 was withdrawn in March 1982.
(For additional information on the 5100, visit our virtual exhibit “Before The Beginning”
available at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the 5110?
A.
For information on the 5110, visit our virtual exhibit “Before The Beginning” available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the Style 5117?
A.
The Style 5117 was a ½ horsepower meat chopper offered by IBM’s Dayton Scale
Division in the late-1920s.
Q.
What was the 5120?
A.
For information on the 5120, visit our virtual exhibit “Before The Beginning” available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
Q.
What was the 5520?
A.
For information on the 5520, visit our virtual exhibit “Before The Beginning” available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
Q.
What was the IBM 6670?
A.
IBM’s Office Products Division introduced the 6670 Information Distributor in February
1979 as a versatile office information distributor that printed with a laser and received and
transmitted documents electronically over ordinary telephone lines. The 6670 also linked word
processing and data processing, printing computer-based information in typewriter-like quality
originals using customized formats. It could print multiple sets of documents at speeds of up to
1,800 characters per second and could also function as a high-quality copier. The 6670 was
withdrawn from marketing in August 1986.
Q.
What was the IBM 7030?
A.
The IBM 7030 Data Processing System — or “Stretch” computer — was delivered in
April 1961, offering a performance that was 200 times faster than the IBM 701, 40 times faster
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than the IBM 709 and seven times faster than the IBM 7090. Although the 7030 was the
industry’s fastest computer in 1961, its performance was far less than originally predicted. IBM
cut its price from $13.5 million to $7.8 million and offered the 7030 to only eight customers.
(A profile of the 7030 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 7090?
A.
The fully transistorized IBM 7090 Data Processing System, announced in January 1959,
was at the time of its introduction the most powerful data processing system to be marketed
commercially by IBM. The system had computing speeds up to five times faster than those of its
predecessor, the IBM 709. That increase in performance was made possible by the use of
thousands of ultra-fast transistors within the central processing unit of the computer.
Among the scientific applications for which the 7090 was suited were the design of missiles,
rockets, jet engines, supersonic aircraft and nuclear reactors. In addition, the system was able to
handle such commercial applications as inventory control, production control, payrolls and
general accounting.
Capabilities of the 7090 computer system included performing 210,000 additions or subtractions
a second. More than 32,000 10-digit numbers could be stored in its magnetic core storage. Any
of these problem or instruction numbers could be located and made ready for use in 2.4
millionths of a second.
The 7090 could simultaneously read and write at the rate of 3 million units of information a
second. The ability to read, write and compute at the same time was provided by the system’s
new Data Multiplexor. Each channel could have a total of ten magnetic tape units, a card reader,
a card punch and a printer. A maximum 7090 system could include 80 magnetic tape units, eight
card readers, eight printers and eight card punches.
General purpose programs (sets of instructions) developed for the IBM 709 could be used on the
7090, as were hundreds of programs developed for the IBM 704 computer. The means of input
and output (entering problems and receiving solutions) was compatible with all contemporary
IBM systems, i.e., people familiar with the 709 would require a minimum of retraining to gain a
technical knowledge of the 7090.
The use of long-life transistors provided increased reliability, decreased maintenance and a
greatly stepped up operating speed of logical circuitry. Other advantages included compactness
and a substantial reduction in power consumption and installation costs.
The IBM 7090 was withdrawn from marketing in July 1969.
(A profile of the 7090 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM 7094?
A.
Announced in January 1962, the IBM 7094 Data Processing System was built at the
company’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y., plant. The system was designed for large-scale computing and
to process complex scientific information at ultra high speed.
With a memory reference speed of two microseconds (millionth of a second), the 7094 could in
one second perform 500,000 logical decisions, 250,000 additions or subtractions, 100,000
multiplications or 62,500 divisions. The 7094 internally performed mathematical computations
1.4 to 2.4 times faster than the IBM 7090, depending on the technique used to solve problems.
High-speed data tapes enabled the 7094 to accept and record data at speeds of up to 170,000
characters a second.
A typical 7094 sold for $3,134,500. IBM provided customers with a complete package of
7090/7094 programs, including FORTRAN, COBOL, input-output control system and sorting,
without charge.
The 7094 was withdrawn from marketing in 1969.
(A profile of the 7094 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 7340?
A.
The IBM 7340 Hypertape Drive of 1971 offered the highest data rate then available in the
industry: 170,000 characters per second at a tape speed of 112.5 inches per second.
(For additional information about the 7340, visit our online exhibit “Billions & Billions of Bytes:
The Heritage of IBM Storage” at http://ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_7340.html)
Q.
What was the IBM 7535, 7540 and 7565?
A.
They were robotic manufacturing systems.
(For information on these devices and other similar products, visit our virtual exhibit “IBM
Robotics” available at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What is the Aberdeen Relay Calculator?
A.
For information about, and an image of, IBM's Aberdeen Relay Calculator, visit our
virtual exhibit "They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
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Q.
What is the IBM AS/400?
A.
When the Application System/400 (AS/400) was introduced in June 1988, it was the
largest worldwide product announcement in IBM history. More than 100,000 customers, IBM
business partners, consultants, analysts, vendors, reporters and IBM branch people in more than
140 locations were linked to the main product unveiling in New York City. Rolled out that day
were six AS/400 models and more than 1,000 software packages. The AS/400 family at
announcement offered a 10-fold performance range from the smallest to the largest model in the
number of commercial transactions it could process per hour — up to 45,000 in IBM benchmark
tests.
Among the product’s attributes cited by IBM at the time of its introduction were the AS/400’s
integrated, state-of-the-art system; reliability; largest application library of any multi-user system
in the industry; most productive system for developing applications in the industry; improved
ease of use for both new and experienced users; unsurpassed connectivity with IBM systems,
such as the System/370, System/36 and System/38; extremely fast processing (twice that of the
high-end System/38 and five times that of the high-end System/36); adherence to IBM’s Systems
Application Architecture; ability to provide a total office solution; electronic customer support
and online education. The AS/400 today remains one of IBM’s most popular products — with
more than 650,000 systems shipped around the world.
(For additional information on the AS/400 and its history, see our paper on this topic posted on
our Documents Desk at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html)
(For an image of the AS/400, visit http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV1004.html
Q.
What was the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC)?
A.
The Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (Harvard Mark I) was the first operating
machine that could execute long computations automatically. A project conceived by Harvard
University’s Dr. Howard Aiken, the Mark I was built by IBM engineers in Endicott, N.Y.
A steel frame 51 feet long and eight feet high held the calculator, which consisted of an
interlocking panel of small gears, counters, switches and control circuits, all only a few inches in
depth. The ASCC used 500 miles of wire with three million connections, 3,500 multipole relays
with 35,000 contacts, 2,225 counters, 1,464 tenpole switches and tiers of 72 adding machines,
each with 23 significant numbers. It was the industry’s largest electromechanical calculator.
(For additional information on the ASCC, visit the virtual exhibit on this machine at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the Card-Programmed Electronic Calculator?
A.
The IBM Card-Programmed Electronic Calculator was announced in May 1949 as a
versatile general purpose computer designed to perform any predetermined sequence of
arithmetical operations coded on standard 80-column punched cards. It was also capable of
selecting and following one of several sequences of instructions as a result of operations already
performed, and it could store instructions for self-programmed operation.
The Calculator consisted of a Type 605 Electronic Calculating Punch and a Type 412 or 418
Accounting Machine. A Type 941 Auxiliary Storage Unit was available as an optional feature.
All units comprising the Calculator were interconnected by flexible cables. If desired, the Type
412 or 418, with or without the Type 941, could be operated independently of the other
machines. The Type 605 could be used as a Calculating Punch and the punch unit (Type 527)
could be operated as an independent gang punch.
Customer deliveries of the CPC began in late 1949, at which time more than 20 had been ordered
by government agencies and laboratories and aircraft manufacturers. Nearly 700 CPC systems
were delivered during the first-half of the 1950s.
(Additional information about, and an image of, the CPC is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2198.html)
Q.
What were the Dayton meat choppers?
A.
Information about, and an image of, the meat choppers is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2154.html
Q.
What was the International Daily Dial Attendance Recorder?
A.
Manufactured by IBM’s International Time Recording Co. division in the 1930s, the
daily attendance recorder came in three sizes — for 50, 100 and 150 employees — and with
either a single or double drum. The double drum models had a capacity for two daily sheets
which automatically positioned themselves for the current day’s records. When one sheet was
used, a new one moved into place and a new sheet could be substituted for the completed record
at any time during the day. The single drum dial recorder required that the sheets be replaced
after working time or before starting time in the morning.
(For extensive information on, and images of, IBM dial recorders -- along with many other
clocks -- see our online "Clock Corner" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/cc/cc_intro.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM Displaywriter System?
A.
The IBM Displaywriter System was introduced in June 1980 to help users produce high
quality documents while keying text at a productive, rough draft speed. Operators could
automatically indent text, justify right margins, center, underscore and perform block commands.
Documents could be stored and recalled for later review or revision. The system could check the
spelling of approximately 50,000 common words and up to 500 technical terms or industryunique words. The basic IBM Displaywriter consisted of a display station, that included a
keyboard, along with a printer and a single diskette unit with a capacity of approximately
284,000 characters of information. With the growing acceptance of the IBM Personal Computer
and its follow-ons, all models of the Displaywriter were withdrawn from marketing in April
1986.
(For additional information on the Displaywriter, visit our virtual exhibit “Before The
Beginning” available at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM Enterprise System/9000?
A.
When the System/390 line was introduced in September 1990 as IBM’s most
comprehensive announcement of products, features and functions in more than a quarter century,
it included the IBM Enterprise System/9000 family of 18 new processors. One measure of the
announcement’s breadth was that a total of 23 different IBM manufacturing and development
sites around the world were involved in the roll-out. The new processor family provided
significant price-performance gains and flexible growth options spanning a 100-fold
performance range increase from the smallest (model 120) to the most powerful (model 900 sixway multiprocessor). The ES/9000s exploited new technologies, such as high-speed fiber optic
channels with IBM’s new ESCON architecture, ultra-dense circuits and circuit packaging that
provided higher performance, extended supercomputing capabilities and twice the processor
memory previously available.
Basic purchase prices for the air-cooled processors of ES/9000 ranged from approximately
$70,500 to $3.12 million. Basic purchase prices for the water-cooled models ranged from $2.45
million to $22.8 million.
(A profile of the ES/9000 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What is the IBM eServer zSeries 800?
A.
Information about this product is available on IBM’s Internet site at http://www1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/800.html
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Q.
What is the IBM eServer zSeries 900?
A.
Information about this product is available on IBM’s Internet site at http://www1.ibm.com/servers/eserverzseries/900.html
Q.
What is the IBM eServer zSeries990?
A.
Information about this product is available on IBM’s Internet site at http://www1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/990.html
Q.
Could you tell me about the origins and history of IBM Global Services?
A.
Yes, certainly. Please see the detailed history posted on our Documents Desk at
http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html
Q.
What was the International Ornamental Floor (“Grandfather”) Type Master Clock?
A.
A master clock was the controlling center of IBM’s Self-Regulating Electric Time
System, and it was the source of accurate time — up to within 10 seconds a month of correct
time — for the various secondary time pieces, such as indicating clocks, attendance and job cost
recorders, distributed throughout the system. The “Grandfather” style clocks, either No. 21
(spring-driven) or No. 31 (weight-driven), beat 60 times a minute, possessed self-winding
movements and came finished in either red or brown mahogany. The clocks were marketed in
the 1930s by the International Time Recording Company, an IBM division.
Q.
Did IBM ever market a hydrogen peroxide analyzer?
A.
Yes, in the early 1980s.
(For information about, and an image of, IBM's EC/250 hydrogen peroxide analyzer, visit our
virtual exhibit "They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM Lectern?
A.
For information about, and an image of, IBM's lectern product, visit our virtual exhibit
"They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
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Q.
What are some of the milestones in the history of magnetic recording?
A.
Some of the key developments and events are:
1898 Danish inventor and engineer Valdemar Poulsen unveils the first magnetic recording device, the
Telegraphone, as the first telephone answering machine. On Dec. 1, Poulsen applies for the patent.
1900 Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph’s voice is recorded on the Telegraphone at the Paris International
Exhibition.
1903 The American Telegraphone Co. is formed to manufacture the Telegraphone.
1935 AEG announces the development of the Magnetophon, an audio recording device. The same year,
the German radio authority begins to use this device for broadcasting.
1940s Bing Crosby funds work to dramatically advance audio recording technology. This helps to
revolutionize, first, commercial radio, and later, the television industry.
1947 Rangertone, Inc., of New Jersey, introduces a professional tape recorder.
1948 Ampex begins delivery of audio tape recorders.
1950 The first catalog of recorded music on tape appears in the United States.
1951 Mincom, a division of 3M Co., demonstrates television recording, followed by RCA in 1953.
1952 IBM announces its first tape drive, the 726 magnetic tape reader/recorder, used with the IBM 701
electronic data processing machine.
1956 IBM is the first company to ship a computer hard drive, RAMAC 305. It stores 5 MB, is the size of
two large refrigerators and costs $10,000 per megabyte.
1956 The first successful TV recorder is built by Ampex. The first taped TV broadcast takes place on
November 30, and features Douglas Edwards reporting the news on CBS-TV.
1963 The Philips compact audio cassette is introduced. This becomes the most successful audio magnetic
recording product.
1965 Ford and Mercury, in conjunction with Motorola and RCA-Victor records, introduces “Stereo-8” or
“eight-track” format tape players as an option in certain luxury cars.
1966 IBM introduces the first disk drive with a wound-coil ferrite recording head.
1971 IBM introduces the first flexible “floppy” disk drive.
1973 IBM announces the first modem-day fixed Winchester hard drive, the 3340.
1975 Sony introduces the Betamax home video system.
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1976 Panasonic and JVC introduces a competitor to Betamax, the VHS system.
1978 Sony introduces the first digital recorders for studios.
1980s Eight-track tapes are discontinued.
1984 The thin-film magnetoresistive (MR) recording head is first used in a storage device in an IBM
tape drive.
1991 IBM introduces the first hard disk drive with MR recording heads.
1996 IBM is first to achieve one billion bits per square inch of storage on a hard drive platter.
1996 IBM launches its first OEM magnetoresistive (MR) head business unit.
1997 IBM introduces the first hard drive with giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads, the most advanced
recording head.
1998 Desktop PC hard drives average 4 cents per megabyte (MB), down from $10,000 per megabyte in
1956 when the first hard drive product was introduced.
1998 IBM introduces the world’s highest capacity hard drives for notebook and desktop PCs at
14 gigabytes (GB) and 25 GB, respectively. The 25 GB drive has 5,000 times the capacity of the first
hard drive product, introduced by IBM in 1956.
1998 IBM announces the microdrive -- the world’s smallest and lightest hard drive -- revolutionizing the
handheld PC, digital camera and other industries.
1998 IBM introduces the fastest hard drive (10,020 RPM) shipping for video streaming, for use with
servers.
Q.
What was the PC Convertible?
A.
The IBM PC Convertible (IBM 5140) of 1986 featured the latest in surface mount
technology, which permitted electronic components to be mounted onto circuit boards, allowing
more components to be placed in a smaller area. Weighing less than 13 pounds, the 5140
combined full computing power with portability and compatibility with other IBM Personal
Computers.
(For a photograph of this product see our online exhibit "Antique Attic Volume 1" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
Where can I find information about IBM’s first Personal Computer?
A.
There is considerable information about the first IBM Personal Computer -- and the first
10 years of IBM’s PC business -- in our online exhibit “At The Beginning” available at
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/pc25/pc25_intro.html
Q.
What was the IBM Personal System/1?
A.
The IBM Personal System/1 was a compact, easy-to-use computer primarily for use in
the home. Its developers wanted a computer that would be easy enough for the novice to use and
powerful enough for the more advanced user, flexible enough to meet the needs of every family
member, a snap to set up, and priced economically (ranging from $999 to 1,999). Additional
information about, and an image of, this product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4023.html
Q.
What is the IBM Personal System/2?
A.
Introduced in April 1987 by IBM’s Entry Systems Division, the Personal System/2
family of PCs originally featured four systems — Models 30, 50, 60 and 80 — in a range of
eight configurations providing customers with a variety of performance, memory and storage
options. The Model 30 was an Intel 8-megahertz system, with either two 720K diskette drives or
one 720K diskette drive and a 20-megabyte fixed disk drive. At the high end of the family, the
Model 80 was a floor-standing machine running at 16 megahertz, containing one megabyte of
memory and featuring a 44 megabyte fixed disk drive. A second 44 MB fixed disk drive could be
added. Prices ranged from $1,695 for the Model 30 with two diskette drives to $10,995 for the
Model 80 with two fixed disk drives.
Q.
What is the background and history of the punched computer cards long associated with
IBM?
A.
For many years, the punched card was so much an accepted part of business life that it
had been taken for granted. But the ubiquitous punched card had quite an early history, going
back nearly three centuries to when Basile Bouchon, an obscure French engineer, decided to
improve the method of weaving. In 1725, Bouchon devised a means for controlling the action of
weaving looms by using holes punched into a roll of paper. As needles were pressed against the
coded paper, some came through the holes and others were held back. The loom’s action as
controlled by these selected needles formed the pattern of the fabric. Three years later, Bouchon
and a master silk weaver, M. Falcon, substituted a series of rectangular perforated cards for the
roll of perforated paper, becoming the first to use punched cards to store information and control
a machine.
Their developments were the foundation for the growth and popularity of the punched card.
Later, Joseph Marie Jacquard perfected the punched card loom. His idea was expanded by
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Charles Babbage, who was the first to think of using cards to control an “analytical engine.” And
finally it was Herman Hollerith, a statistician in the U.S. Census Department, who built on those
earlier ideas and developed a punched card system for tabulating records, thereby becoming
responsible for one of the most common methods of business communication in the 20th
century.
The first application for Hollerith’s punched card theory was in Baltimore where he persuaded
authorities to let him tally the city’s 1887 vital statistics. The first application on a large scale
was in handling the population tabulations of the 1890 U.S. census. The 1890 cards were blank
except for an identification number running down the right side. Hollerith divided the card into
240 separate positions or spots. Holes punched into these spots would indicate a person’s age,
education, income and so on. There was one card for each person counted. The early census card
was six and 5/8 inches by three and ¼ inches in size and had 20 columns. Electromechanical
sensing devices could automatically “read” where the holes were punched in each card and
process the information. The 1890 census (of 63 million people) was tabulated in one-third the
time it took for the 1880 count (of 50 million people), and $5 million in costs were saved.
Initial punched cards were usually a short card with 34 columns of information on a card with 45
columns, which was the same length and width as the “modern” data processing card. With the
1928 introduction of the 80-column card — each with 12 punching places and measuring seven
and 3/8 inches by three and ¼ inches — storage capacity was nearly doubled.
One of the earliest commercial uses for these cards was in the compilation and analysis of freight
statistics for a leading railroad. Later, the IBM card was modified to permit recording of data
directly upon the card itself instead of punching a card from some other original document. After
the U.S. Social Security Act was passed in the 1930s, millions of punched cards were processed
in “the largest accounting operation of all time.” By the 1970s, over one million cards were used
each minute of each work day. Some businesses used more than 70 million of the general
purpose cards each year.
IBM card production was carried out at the company’s plant in Endicott, N.Y. and plants devoted
solely to the production of IBM cards were located in Washington, D.C.; San Jose, Calif.; and
Greencastle, Ind. The cards were manufactured from specially prepared high-grade paper stock.
Every care was taken to produce a paper strong in wearing quality and free from foreign particles
which might act as conductors of electricity. Other tests included temperature and humidity
control, tearing strength, folding endurance and porosity to ensure high printing quality of the
paper. The card layout was designed by the IBM sales representative in cooperation with the
customer.
Q.
What was the IBM Port-A-Punch?
A.
For information about, and an image of, IBM's Port-A-Punch, visit our virtual exhibit
"They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
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Q.
What was the IBM Relay Calculator?
A.
For information about, and an image of, IBM's "Aberdeen Relay Calculator, visit our
virtual exhibit "They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
Q.
What were some of the key events in the IBM relationship with ROLM Corporation?
A.
Some of the key events and milestones in IBM-ROLM relationship are as follows:
1983
IBM acquires a minority interest in ROLM Corporation, and plans are announced for IBMROLM cooperative product development.
1984
IBM and ROLM Corporation announce a merger agreement making ROLM a wholly-owned
subsidiary of IBM.
1985
ROLM Credit Corporation, previously a subsidiary of ROLM Corporation, becomes a subsidiary
of IBM Credit Corporation.
IBM says it will adopt the ROLM PhoneMail system for voice messaging in the United States
and Canada.
NASA awards ROLM Corporation a contract to install a business communications system to
serve the Johnson Space Center near Houston, Texas.
IBM completes its divestiture of the ROLM Corporation’s Mil-Spec Computer Division, which
is acquired by the Loral Corporation.
1986
IBM announces the ROLMBridge 5250 Link Protocol Converter, to provide a low-cost way to
connect certain workstations and other devices to System/36 and System/38 computers; and
Phone Mail/VM Host Link, to enable IBM PROFS and messaging system users to receive
notification of waiting PhoneMail voice messages on their computer screens.
1987
ROLM Corporation’s domestic direct sales, operations and service divisions are combined with
the IBM Information Systems Group (ISG) telecommunications marketing and support staffs to
form a new telecommunications marketing and service organization within ISG.
At the end of the year, IBM announces that ROLM Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary
since 1984, will become the ROLM Systems Division (RSD) of IBM, effective December 31.
RSD will maintain its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.; its manufacturing and development
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facilities at Santa Clara, Austin, Texas, and Colorado Springs, Colo.; and its development facility
at Boca Raton, Fla.
1988
IBM announces that the ROLM Systems Division and the Communications Products Division
are to be integrated into the structure of the Communications Systems line of business.
IBM and Siemens announce plans in December for a series of joint activities in
telecommunications products for private networks, including establishing a marketing and
services company, ROLM, jointly owned by IBM and Siemens; establishing ROLM Systems
Inc., a wholly-owned development and manufacturing subsidiary of Siemens; continued
marketing by IBM of the 9750 Business Communications System and other ROLM products in
Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and other countries; and joint design of advanced voice/data
telecommunications applications. ROLM Systems Inc. is to include IBM’s ROLM development
and manufacturing operations in Santa Clara, Calif. and Austin, Texas. IBM’s manufacturing and
development facility in Colorado Springs, which provides circuit cards for ROLM Systems
products, will be phased out in 1989.
1989
IBM completes the sale of ROLM manufacturing and development activities to Siemens AG. A
newly-formed company jointly owned by IBM and Siemens will market and service Siemens
telephones, telephone switching systems and other telecommunications products in the United
States.
1992
Siemens AG of Germany acquires IBM’s 50 percent interest in ROLM Company, making
Siemens the sole owner of the telecommunications marketing and services venture.
Q.
What is the IBM RISC/6000 (or RS/6000)?
A.
The RISC System/6000 (RS/6000) family, announced in February 1990, demonstrated
huge leaps in technology in the quarter century following the debut of the System/360. Initially
available in a series of nine high-performance workstations and servers, even the most powerful
model (POWERserver 540) sat beside a desk rather than fill a large room as did the 360. The 540
processed 41 million instructions per second, making it five to 50 times more powerful than the
most powerful of the early System/360 models. Its electronic logic circuitry had up to 800,000
transistors per silicon chip (compared with but one transistor per chip on the first 360). Its
maximum memory size of 256 megabytes was 256 times more than was offered on the largest of
the early 360 line and its internal disk storage capacity of 2.5 gigabytes was 25 times the capacity
of the 24-inch diameter, 25-disk module of the IBM 2302 Disk Storage announced with the
System/360 in April 1964.
The RS/6000 family achieved its premium performance with three major technical advances: a
new superscalar processor capable of executing multiple instructions in a single cycle; the
industry’s most advanced Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) — pioneered by IBM —
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floating-point processor for numeric-intensive applications, such as quantitative analysis; and
optimized 3-D graphics capabilities for complex applications, such as visualization and mapping.
(For additional information about the RS/6000, see the detailed history posted on our Documents
Desk at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html)
Q.
What is the IBM RS/6000 SP (or SP)?
A.
IBM announced the next generation of its RISC-based high performance parallel
computer — the Scalable POWERparallel Systems SP2 — in April 1994. The SP2 represented a
new breed of information system which combined the numeric-intensive processing capabilities
of scientific and technical computers with the storage and analysis strengths of commercial
systems. Based on IBM’s RISC System/6000 microprocessor technology and running AIX/6000,
IBM’s UNIX operating system, the SP2 could scale from four to 128 nodes, and offer significant
flexibility in configuring the systems by combining nodes within a frame. Using a POWER2
processor and other options, a customer could obtain twice the processing power of the then
current system, eight times greater memory and four times greater bandwidth. A 128-node
system had a peak performance of 34 gigaFLOPS (equal to billions of calculations per second),
256 gigabytes (GB) of internal memory and 1,024 GB of internal disk storage.
(For additional information about the RS/6000 SP, see the detailed history posted on our
Documents Desk at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/documents/index.html)
(For an image of the SP, visit http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV1002.html
Q.
What was the SAGE computer?
A.
Built by IBM in the 1950s, the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) computers
were used in an early U.S. air defense system. When fully deployed in 1963, the system
consisted of 27 centers throughout North America, each with a duplexed AN/FSQ-7 computer
system containing over 50,000 vacuum tubes, weighing 250 tons and occupying an acre of floor
space. SAGE was the first large computer network to provide man-machine interaction in “real
time.”
(To see a photograph of the SAGE magnetic core array, visit our online exhibit "Antique Attic
Volume 1" available at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What is the Scanistor?
A.
For information about, and an image of, IBM's Scanistor, visit our virtual exhibit "They
Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
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Q.
What was the IBM Series/1?
A
IBM introduced the new Series/1 computer in November 1976 for experienced data
processing users, i.e., primarily for customers with programming capabilities and a need for
multiple systems. It was a general purpose system that offered both communications and sensorbased capabilities, and it enabled users to attach a large number and variety of input and output
units, including custom-built devices for special applications.
The Series/1 consisted of 19-inch rack-mountable data processing units. It initially was available
with two processors: a Model 3, ranging in memory size from 16K to 64K, and a Model 5,
ranging from 16K to 128K. In addition to the processors, the Series/1 also offered at
announcement a fixed disk storage unit containing 9.3 million bytes of storable space; a diskette
unit able to store either up to 250,000 or up to 500,000 bytes on one- or two-sided diskettes,
respectively; a matrix printer which provided 120 character per second bi-directional capability;
a display station; a sensor Input/Output unit; an I/O expansion unit to attach additional devices;
various communications features; and OEM attachment features. Various processors and
peripherals of the Series/1 were withdrawn from marketing between 1983 and 1987.
An image of the Series/1 is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4024.html
Q.
What was the SSEC?
A.
The IBM Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC), dedicated in 1948 by Thomas
J. Watson, Sr., at IBM’s headquarters at 590 Madison Avenue in New York City, was the first
operating computer to combine electronic computation with stored instructions. The SSEC
combined the speed of electronic circuits with a storage capacity of 400,000 digits. It had more
than 12,000 vacuum tubes and 21,000 electromechanical relays. Data which had to be retrieved
quickly were held in electronic circuits while the remainder were stored in relays and as holes in
continuous card stock tapes.
(To see a photograph of the SSEC's control desk, visit our online exhibit "Antique Attic Volume
1" available at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM Selectric?
A.
Unveiled in 1961, the revolutionary Selectric typewriter eliminated the need for
conventional typebars and movable carriages by using an innovative typing element on a headand-rocker assembly, which, in turn, was mounted on a small carrier to move from left to right
while typing.
(For a photograph of this product, see our online exhibit, "Antique Attic Volume 2" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the System/3?
A.
IBM introduced its System/3 computer (IBM 5410) on July 30, 1969 to meet the
computing needs of small businesses. Additional information about, and an image of, this
product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4008.html
Q.
What was the System/7?
A.
For information on the IBM System/7, visit our virtual exhibit “The Sentinel” available
at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/system7/system7_intro.html
Q.
What was the System/23?
A.
For information on the System/23, visit our virtual exhibit “Before The Beginning”
available at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
Q.
What was the System/32?
A.
Debuting on January 7, 1975, the IBM System/32 was designed specifically to meet the
needs of small businesses. It is the first system to incorporate hardware and comprehensive
application software. The System/32 was supported by Industry Application Programs for the
construction, wholesale paper and office products, wholesale food, hospital, and membership
organizations and association industries. Additional information about, and an image of, this
product is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4017.html
Q.
What was the System/34?
A.
IBM’s General Systems Division announced the System/34 in April 1977 as a low-cost
approach to distributive data processing for businesses of all sizes. Centered on the IBM 5340
system unit, the System/34 used as many as eight workstations to provide timely access to
current data and offered seven attachments, including the IBM 5251 Display Station. The
System/34 was withdrawn in February 1985.
(An image of the IBM System/34 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV2236.html)
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Q.
What is the IBM System/36?
A.
When making its May 1983 debut, the System/36 was one of the easiest-to-use general
purpose computers ever introduced by IBM. It combined data processing, business color graphics
and office management functions in a low-cost computer for first-time and experienced users.
The System/36 5360 system unit offered 128,000 to 512,000 characters of main storage and 30
million to 400 million characters of internal disk storage — up to twice the maximum main
storage provided by the earlier System/34. Specialized industry terminals which could be used
with the System/36 included the IBM 3600 and 4700 finance communication systems, the IBM
5260 retail system, the IBM 5230 data collection system and the IBM 1255 magnetic character
reader.
Purchase prices for typical System/36 configurations ranged from $34,000 for a basic system
(with 128K characters of main memory, 30 million characters of disk storage, two displays, one
printer and the operating system) to $176,000 for a large system (with 512K characters of
memory, 400 million characters of disk storage, 26 displays, three printers, a tape drive, the
operating system plus languages and utilities). Some models of the System/36 were withdrawn
from marketing in September 1986.
(An image of the System/36 is available online at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4018.html)
Q.
What is the IBM System/38?
A.
Under development since 1973 in IBM’s General Systems Division laboratory in
Rochester, Minn., the System/38 midrange computer was rolled out in October 1978 with many
advanced features. These include a single-level store, object-oriented addressing and a high-level
machine interface to the user. The System/38 had been designed to facilitate terminal-oriented,
transaction-driven operations and to improve programmer productivity.
The basic system included a central processing unit with main storage ranging between 524,288
and 1.572 million positions, 64.5 to 387.1 million positions of disk storage, a console
keyboard/display, a diskette magazine drive and work station controllers for up to 40 directly
attached IBM 5250 Information Display System devices. Depending on processor model, main
storage cycle times were 600 or 1,100 billionths of a second. The purchase price for a complete
System/38 at announcement was $91,780. Deliveries of the product began in August 1979, and
some models of the System/38 were withdrawn from marketing between March 1982 and June
1986.
(An image of the System/38 is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4009.html)
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Q.
What is the significance of the System/360 and how does it relate to some other early
IBM computers?
A.
The introduction of the IBM System/360 in 1964 marked the birth of a new generation of
computers. It represented the culmination of a succession of technological advances and the
evolution of the computer from cumbersome electrical relay and vacuum tube machines, through
solid state systems with diodes and transistors, to the microelectronics computer circuits used in
the IBM System/360.
Generally speaking, vacuum tube machines operated at speeds of thousandths of a second and
transistorized solid state machines at millionths of a second. System/360 reached operating
speeds measured in billionths of a second.
In the 1950s, computers found their greatest acceptance in such routine accounting applications
as payroll and billing. Ten years later, these extremely versatile machines were being used to
simulate inventories mathematically, to help set type for magazines and newspapers, to control
oil refinery processes, to maintain quality control in automobile assembly, to run machine tools
that made other tools, to test rocket engines and to track astronauts in space.
The first general purpose automatic digital computer built by IBM dates back to 1944. It was an
electromechanical machine developed in conjunction with Harvard University and was known as
the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. It performed additions in one-third of a second
and multiplications in six seconds.
In 1948, IBM introduced the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator which contained 21,400
electrical relays and 12,500 vacuum tubes enabling it to do thousands of calculations in seconds.
The Korean War sped the development of large-scale computers. In 1952, IBM announced its
first fully electronic data processing system, the IBM 701. The four years between the Selective
Sequence Electronic Calculator and the 701 produced great advances in information technology.
The 701 was only one-quarter the size of the SSEC and 25 times faster.
During the next few years, even faster and more versatile vacuum tube machines were
developed. The IBM 650 was among the best known, with nearly 2,000 units produced.
Along with the improvement in vacuum tube machines came the introduction of the IBM
RAMAC 305 in 1956. This system utilized a vertical stack of 50 aluminum disks coated with
iron oxide. It permitted information to be magnetically coded on these revolving disks and
entered and retrieved from the storage file on a completely random basis. Prior to this
development, information had to be “batched” or sorted into sequence before processing.
RAMAC, and developments which evolved from it, greatly increased the scope of data
processing.
By the mid-1950s, transistors had begun to replace vacuum tubes in computers. In 1958, IBM
announced the 7070 which incorporated solid-state technology offering several advantages over
vacuum tube machines. Solid-state devices, such as the transistor, were generally smaller, more
reliable and generated less heat than comparable vacuum tube components.
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In 1959, IBM introduced two of its most important computers. These were the 1401, widely used
for business applications, and the 1620, a small scientific and engineering computer used for
such diverse applications as automatic typesetting, highway design and bridge building.
The following year saw the introduction of the large-scale 7000 series, the 1410 and STRETCH,
the most powerful scientific computer designed up to that time.
These were the years when the range of systems greatly increased. Much smaller and much
larger systems became available. The compact, low-cost 1440, a machine designed for small and
medium-sized business, was introduced in 1962. At the other end of the scale, IBM made
available the 7094, a powerful system widely used in the aerospace industry for such jobs as
simulation of rocket engines and for scientific computing in research laboratories around the
world.
The usefulness of computers was greatly expanded by the introduction of IBM data transmission
terminals enabling far-flung locations to communicate with a central computer to enter or
retrieve information. This ability to communicate with the computer meant that information
stored in the system could be automatically updated as transactions occurred and made available
upon request to headquarters management as well as field personnel. IBM “Tele-processing”
terminals were used, for example, by airlines to provide instant passenger reservation service,
banks to update customer files, insurance companies to speed claims processing, factories to
report production status and assure quality control, and retailers to speed ordering from
wholesalers.
Yet, with all the advances in computer technology, programming and applications in the late1950s and early-1960s, there were still obstacles to overcome in making maximum use of
electronic data processing capabilities.
To provide an expandable system that would serve every data processing need, IBM redesigned
its entire product line. The result was the new generation System/360, combining new electronic
techniques with advanced computer concepts.
System/360 represented the first basic reorganization of the electronic computer by IBM since
the development of the 701 in 1952. More than any other computer development, it tied together
the “loose ends” of electronic data processing and offered users a total system capability at a
price they could afford.
Specifically, the new system enabled companies to integrate all of their data processing
applications into a single management information system. Virtually unlimited storage and
instant retrieval capabilities provided management with up-to-the-minute decision-making
information.
System/360 included in its central processors 19 combinations of graduated speed and memory
capacity. Incorporated with these were more than 40 types of peripheral equipment. Built-in
communications capability made the system available to remote locations, regardless of distance.
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Until the advent of the System/360, unlimited storage had been expensive and costly. A certain
amount of reprogramming had been necessary to use added core units providing additional
memory. With System/360, limited storage capacity was no longer an obstacle to the maximum
use of a computer. System/360 processors provided a central memory capacity of from 8,000 to
524,000 characters. Additional low-cost storage of up to eight million characters was available
with any of the larger configurations.
With System/360, it was no longer necessary to match a user’s problem to a specific piece of
equipment because of differences in machine design and problem-solving capacity.
System/360’s units could be combined in an almost infinite variety of ways so that the system
was literally tailored to a customer’s job.
The built-in communications capability of System/360 allowed the user to greatly increase the
scope of computer usefulness. Up to 248 data transmission terminals could communicate with
the computer simultaneously — even when it was busy on a batch processing job.
The System/360 also ended the distinction between commercial and scientific computers. Each
System/360 processing unit had the ability to process work through small binary, decimal or
floating point arithmetic centers. This meant that the same System/360 configuration could
handle commercial work, scientific work or a combination of the two, with equal effectiveness.
The launch of the IBM System/360 was a significant event in the history of computing. For IBM,
it was a staggering undertaking. The company spent three-quarters of a billion dollars just on
engineering, and invested another $4.5 billion on factories, equipment and the rental machines
themselves. IBM hired more than 60,000 new employees and opened five major new plants.
Thomas J. Watson, Jr., called it “the biggest privately financed commercial project ever
undertaken.” The timing of the launch, when not all of the new machines had yet gone through
rigorous testing, was, said Mr. Watson, “the biggest, riskiest decision I ever made.” And when he
unveiled the new System/360 on April 7, 1964, he presented it as “the most important product
announcement in company history.”
(See also http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/timeline/1960s.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 22?
A.
The IBM System/360 Model 22 was announced in April 1971 as a general purpose
computer that combined intermediate-scale data processing capability with small-system
economy.
(A profile of the Model 22 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 25?
A.
Launched in January 1968, the IBM System/360 Model 25 was a versatile data
processing system for users of small and medium sized computers. It could operate as an IBM
1401, 1440 or 1460 computer.
(A profile of the Model 25 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 30?
A.
Smallest of the System/360 configurations announced in April 1964, the Model 30 could
serve as a stand-alone system, a communications system or the satellite processor of a larger
system.
(A profile of the Model 30 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 40?
A.
Thomas J. Watson, Jr., said of the System/360 when it as introduced in April 1964 that it
was “the most significant product announcement in IBM history.” The word “system” was
chosen to signify that the new product line was an interchangeable family of processors and
peripherals with programming compatibility between all models. The Model 40 had a maximum
memory of 256K, a cycle time of 2.5 microseconds and it transferred 16 bits per cycle. It was
withdrawn from marketing in October 1977.
(A profile of the Model 40 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 44?
A.
Announced in August 1965, the Model 44 was used for scientific computing.
(A profile of the Model 44 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 50?
A.
The IBM System/360 Model 50 debuted in April 1964 as the most powerful 360 unit in
the medium price range with communication facilities.
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(A profile of the Model 50 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the System/360 Model 75?
A.
The IBM System/360 Model 75 was introduced in April 1965, with the first delivery, to
the NASA Institute of Space Study, following in January 1966.
A powerful processor for integrated data management and processing, the Model 75 had a
storage capability of up to 1,048,576 bytes. The machine had a memory cycle time of 750
nanoseconds, and it featured four-way interleaving of memory for faster effective access.
(Interleaving is a technique in which the computer’s memory is implemented by two or more
electronically independent units, any one of which can be accessed while the others are still
responding to previous requests.)
The Model 75 was withdrawn from marketing in March 1977.
(A console from one of the machines has been preserved in the IBM Collection of Historical
Computers. For a photograph of that console, visit our online exhibit "Antique Attic Volume 1"
available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
(A profile of the Model 75 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the System/360 Model 91?
A.
The IBM System/360 Model 91 was introduced in 1966 as the fastest, most powerful
computer then in use. It was specifically designed to handle high-speed data processing for
scientific applications such as space exploration, theoretical astronomy, subatomic physics and
global weather forecasting. IBM estimated that each day in use, the Model 91 would solve more
than 1,000 problems involving about 200 billion calculations. The system’s immense computing
power resulted from a combination of several key factors, including advanced circuits that
switched in billionths of a second, high-density circuit packaging techniques and a high degree
of “concurrency,” or parallel operations.
To users of the time, the Model 91 was functionally the same as other large-scale System/360s. It
ran under Operating System/360 — a powerful programming package of approximately 1.5
million instructions that enabled the system to operate with virtually no manual intervention.
However, the internal organization of the Model 91 was the most advanced of any System/360.
Within the central processing unit (CPU), there were five highly autonomous execution units
which allowed the machine to overlap operations and process many instructions simultaneously.
The five units were processor storage, storage bus control, instruction processor, fixed-point
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processor and floating-point processor. Not only could these units operate concurrently, they
could also perform several functions at the same time. Because of this concurrency, the effective
time to execute instructions and process information was reduced significantly.
The Model 91 CPU cycle time (the time it takes to perform a basic processing instruction) was 60
nanoseconds. Its memory cycle time (the time it takes to fetch and store eight bytes of data in
parallel) was 780 nanoseconds. A Model 91 installed at the U.S. National Aeronautics & Space
Administration (NASA) operated with 2,097,152 bytes of main memory interleaved 16 ways.
Model 91s could accommodate up to 6,291,496 bytes of main storage. With a maximum rate of
16.6-million additions a second, NASA’s machine had up to 50 times the arithmetic capability of
the IBM 7090.
In addition to main memory, NASA’s Model 91 could store over 300 million characters in two
IBM 2301 drum and IBM 2314 direct access storage units. It also had 12 IBM 2402 magnetic tape
units for data analysis applications, such as the processing of meteorological information relayed
from satellites. Three IBM 1403 printers gave the system a 3,300-line a minute printing
capability. Punched card input/output was provided through an IBM 2540 card read punch.
(The console from a Model 91 has been preserved in the IBM Collection of Historical
Computers.)
(A profile of the Model 91 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 95?
A.
Shipped to NASA in February 1968, the two System/360 Model 95s were the first and
only computers in IBM’s Model 90 series equipped with ultra-high-speed thin-film memories.
Both of NASA’s Model 95s were used to solve space exploration problems at speeds equivalent
to calculating more than 330 million 14-digit multiplications in one minute.
(A profile of the Model 95 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/360 Model 195?
A.
The System/360 Model 195 was announced in August 1969 as the most powerful
computer in IBM’s product line, with twice the operating speed of the Model 85, the next most
powerful System/360. It used monolithic circuits, had a high-performance buffer memory and
could perform many functions simultaneously.
(A profile of the Model 195 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 115?
A.
Introduced in March 1973, the System/370 Model 115 established new levels of
efficiency and economy for a large number of computer users expanding into advanced on-line
applications.
(A profile of the Model 115 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 125?
A.
The IBM System/370 Model 125 was announced in October 1972. Its virtual storage,
large-capacity direct-acccess storage, high processing speeds and data communication
capabilities facilitated advanced applications of the time such as on-line data entry and inquiry
and remote computing.
(A profile of the Model 125 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 135?
A.
The IBM System/370 Model 135 of March 1971 was designed to provide economical and
flexible entry into a wide range of advanced database applications for the users of intermediate
and smaller computers.
(A profile of the Model 135 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 138?
A.
Announced in June 1976, the IBM System/370 Model 138 offered large main and
reloadable control storage, performance increases under IBM virtual storage programming and a
number of standard features for medium-scale users.
(A profile of the Model 138 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 145?
A.
Introduced in September 1970, the Model 145 was the first IBM computer to have a main
memory made entirely on monolithic circuits on silicon chips (previous 370 models used
magnetic core main memories). Its system storage ranged from 112K to 512K, twice that
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available with the IBM System/360 Model 40. It operated at speeds up to five times the Model
40’s and up to 11 times the Model 30’s. Model 145 users were able to run their System/360
programs with little or no reprogramming. Purchase prices for the Model 145 ranged from about
$705,775 to $1,783,000. The Model 145 was withdrawn from marketing in November of 1971.
(A profile of the Model 145 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 148?
A.
The Model 148 of the System/370 computer family was developed and manufactured at
IBM’s System Products Division facility in Endicott, N.Y., rolled out in June 1976 and first
shipped during the first quarter of 1977. It enabled the users of intermediate-sized computers of
the day to design larger, more efficient interactive, database and data communications
applications. The machine had a maximum main memory of two million characters with internal
performance speeds up to 43 percent faster than the earlier Model 145. The Model 148 was
withdrawn from marketing in November 1983.
(A profile of the Model 148 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 155?
A.
Introduced in June 1970, the IBM System/370 Model 155 was a high-performance data
processing system that provided the reliability, availability and convenience demanded by
business and scientific users, as well as by users with applications in communications or control.
(A profile of the Model 155 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 158?
A.
The IBM System/370 Model 158 of August 1972 was a medium-sized, high performance
data processing system that incorporated integrated monolithic main storage, virtual storage
capability, integrated storage controls and a display console for large-scale users.
(A profile of the Model 158 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 165?
A.
When the Model 165 was rolled out in June 1970, large data bases, remote computing
and high-throughput multiprogramming were the emerging needs of medium- and large-scale
computer users. The Model 165 was designed to meet those needs and allowed IBM customers
to run their System/360 applications on the new system with little or no program modification.
(A profile of the Model 165 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 168?
A.
The IBM System/370 Model 168 was announced in August 1972 and was designed for
high availability, eased application development and operational flexibility, with emphasis on the
needs of large database and data communications systems.
(A profile of the Model 168 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the IBM System/370 Model 195?
A.
At the time of its introduction in June 1970, the Model 195 was IBM’s most powerful
computing system. It could process instructions at the rate of one every 54-billionths of a second.
(A profile of the Model 168 is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of Mainframes” at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What is the IBM S/390 Multirprise Enterprise Server?
A.
Information about this product is available on IBM’s Internet site at http://www1.ibm.com/servers/s390/multiprise
Q.
What was the IBM S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server?
A.
The IBM S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server processors were announced in September
1994, and initially comprised a line of six new models with up to six air-cooled Complementary
Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) microprocessors. This product line was a natural
replacement for many IBM 4381, 3090, 308X and “plug-compatible systems.
(A profile of the S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade
Of Mainframes” at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
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Q.
What was the IBM S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server - Generation 4?
A.
Rolled out in June 1997, the S/390 G4 Server marked the end of the road for IBM servers
using bipolar processor technology. Its CMOS microprocessors enabled customers to meet
network computing needs by providing one of the most secure systems for conducting electronic
commerce.
(A profile of the S/390 G4 Server is available in our online exhibit “A Cavalcade Of
Mainframes” at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What are the IBM Parallel Enterprise Server- Generation 5 and S/390 Parallel
Enterprise Server Generation 6?
A.
Information about these products is available at IBM’s Internet site at http://www1.ibm.com/servers/s390/pres
Q.
What was the Thermal Conduction Module (TCM)?
A.
The IBM-developed TCM, used in large-scale IBM 3081 and other computers, was the
industry’s densest and most efficient logic packaging in the 1980s. One module could contain up
to 132 circuit chips and had the processing power equivalent to that of a midrange System/370
computer of the 1970s. The water-cooled TCM had the shortest average chip-to-chip
communication time of packaging in any general-purpose computer.
(For a photograph of this component, see our online exhibit, "Antique Attic Volume 2" available
at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
What was the ThinkPad 701C?
A.
The IBM ThinkPad 701C was announced in March 1995 with a revolutionary TrackWrite
keyboard that formed a comfortable, full-size, 85-key typing surface nearly two inches wider
than the unit itself. The ThinkPad could be transformed into a full-function speakerphone,
answering machine and fax machine, and, by using built-in infrared, could print documents and
send files with no wires or cable connectors. It weighed 4.5 pounds and offered 360-, 540- and
720-million byte hard drives.
Q.
What was the "Tractor?"
A.
For information about, and an image of, IBM's TRACTOR system, visit our virtual
exhibit "They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
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Q.
What are some of the milestones in the history of IBM typewriters?
A.
Some of the key dates in the history of IBM typewriters are:
1933 IBM acquires the tools, patents and production facilities of Electromatic Typewriters,
Inc., of Rochester, N.Y.
1934 IBM invests more than $1 million to redesign the Electromatic Typewriter, improve
research facilities and establish service centers.
1935 The IBM Electric Typewriter, Model 01, is introduced. Customer acceptance soon makes
it the first successful electric typewriter in the United States.
1941 IBM announces proportional letter spacing. However, the war effort delays product
introduction until 1944.
1944 The IBM Electric Executive Typewriter, the first typewriter with proportional letter
spacing, is introduced.
1948 The IBM Model A Standard Electric Typewriter gives the typist a new feeling of comfort
and control. Carriage return, back space, tabulator and shift are operated with a finger tip touch.
A “multiple-copy control” ensures legible carbon copies and stencils.
1951 The IBM Model A Decimal Tabulation Typewriter offers electric tabulation for statistical
typing.
1954 IBM introduces the IBM Model B Standard Typewriter and the IBM Model B Executive
Typewriter. Both feature cushioned carriage, electric ribbon rewind, changeable typebars
and pastel colors.
1957
IBM begins to manufacture typewriter ribbons and carbon paper.
1958 The IBM Electric Typewriter Division celebrates its 25th anniversary and delivers its
one-millionth IBM typewriter.
1959 The IBM Model C Typewriter and the IBM Model C Executive Typewriter introduce
more productivity enhancements, including personal touch control.
1961 The IBM Selectric Typewriter is unveiled. This product replaces typebars and the
moving carriage with a spherical printing element.
1964 To indicate more accurately the scope of its product line, the Electric Typewriter Division
changes its name to Office Products Division.
1967 IBM introduces the Model D Executive Typewriter and the IBM Model D Standard
Typewriter, the last IBM typebar typewriters.
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1968 The IBM Braille Typewriter is the first powered Braille writing machine available for
individual use. Its keyboard is almost identical to that of a standard typewriter.
1971 The IBM Selectric II Typewriter lets the typist switch from 10-pitch for correspondence
to 12-pitch for business forms and reports. The IBM Tech III Ribbon cartridge permits “clean
hands” ribbon replacement.
1973 The IBM Correcting Selectric II Typewriter, with its Lift-off Tape, allows the typist to lift
typing errors literally off the paper.
1974 The IBM Memory Typewriter, a desktop typewriter that stores everything typed and
allows the operator to recall and revise previously typed material.
1978 The IBM Electronic Typewriter 50 and Electronic Typewriter 60, the first electronic
typewriters, introduce a new dimension of features, including automatic error correction,
underscoring and centering.
1979 The IBM Electronic Typewriter 75 is introduced. It allows typed material to be stored
and recalled from its 7,500-character memory.
1980 The keyboards of the IBM Selectric III and IBM Correcting Selectric III typewriters
feature larger, non-glare keys and a lighted margin scale.
1981 The Office Products Division, along with the Data Processing and General Systems
Divisions, is consolidated into two new divisions: National Accounts and National Marketing.
1986 The IBM Wheelwriter 6 and Quietwriter 8 typewriters provide advances in speed, power
and convenience.
1987 The IBM Personal Typing System combines the simplicity of a typewriter and the
flexibility of a word processor with the power of a personal computer.
1988 The largest typewriter announcement in IBM history, featuring the IBM Wheelwriter
Series II typewriters and the IBM Personal Wheelwriter Typewriter, provide solutions for
virtually every typing application.
1991 Following the sale of IBM’s typewriter, keyboard, personal printer and supplies business
to Clayton & Dubilier, Inc., a new company — Lexmark International, Inc. — is formed to
develop, manufacture and sell such products worldwide
(Detailed information about, and images of, the Model B Typewriter are available online at
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/modelb/modelb_intro.html)
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Q.
Did IBM ever market an industrial welder?
A.
Yes, in the mid-1960s.
(For information about, and an image of, IBM's PW 200 percussive welder, visit our virtual
exhibit "They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special Products (Vol. 2)" available at
http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html)
Q.
Where may I find information about IBM's current product line?
A.
Please visit IBM's Web sites at http://www.ibm.com/products/us/ and
http://www.ibm.com/products/innovations_gallery/html/product.html
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Public Relations
Q.
What is the origin of the term “Big Blue?”
A.
The term “Big Blue” as a reference to IBM did not originate within the company. When
the term first began appearing in the press during the early 1980s, IBM employees continued to
refer to IBM as they always had — and have since — most typically, “IBM” or “the business” or
“the company.” Some writers have suggested that the “Big Blue” expression is related to the blue
covers on the IBM mainframes and similar products of the 1960s. Of course, “Blue” can now be
found in the names of some of IBM’s supercomputers, such as Deep Blue, Blue Pacific and Blue
Gene.
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Research
Q.
What were some of IBM’s notable achievements in computer technology?
A.
The following chronology covers just some of the significant product technology
developed in IBM laboratories and plants during the first four decades of the computer industry.
Each of the items represents industry leadership in some form — speed, capacity or other
measurement. Many of the items were fundamental inventions that shaped the industry’s
technological course.
1942 Vacuum Tube Digital Multiplier — Experimental machine more than 1,000 faster than
earlier electromechanical devices.
1944 Mark I (Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator) — First operating machine to
execute long computations automatically. Constructed by IBM in cooperation with
Harvard’s Dr. Howard Aiken.
1946 IBM 603 Calculator — The computer industry’s first vacuum tube machine built on a
production-line basis.
1948 “Pluggable Unit” — The industry’s first assemblage of digital electronics replaceable as
a unit. Introduced in the mass-produced IBM 604 calculator.
1952 Tape Drive Vacuum Column — Invention to buffer magnetic tape between reels to
prevent tape breakage at abrupt start and stop. Adopted throughout the industry.
1954 NORC (Naval Ordnance Research Calculator) — Most powerful computer in existence
for several years.
1954 Input-Output Channel — Invention to synchronize the flow of data into and out of the
computer while computation progresses. Adopted widely in the industry.
1955 IBM 704 — The IBM 704 was the first commercially available computer to incorporate
indexing and floating point arithmetic as standard features and to base software on them.
1956 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) — Invention of the
computer disk file, which became the industry’s basic medium for online transaction
processing. The IBM 305 RAMAC was the first disk file system.
1957 IBM 608 — First all-transistor commercial calculator, paving the way for more powerful
transistorized computers to follow.
1957 FORTRAN (Formula Translation) — The most widely used scientific programming
language. First high-level language to gain general industry acceptance.
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1959 Automated Transistor Production —First fully automated production line for
transistors, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
1959 Chain/Train Printers — First commercial “chain” printer, which produced 600 lines per
minute from a chain-loop of characters moving at high speed. Led to IBM “train” printer, with
type on a steel track in interchangeable-typeface cartridges. Technology adopted by other
manufacturers.
1960 IOCS (Input-Output Control System) — First computer control program to allow
concurrent processing and input-output operations.
1960 Operating Systems — Pioneering efforts in the development and implementation of
operating systems, including OS/360 in 1964 and the progressively more advanced operating
systems developed continuously to the present.
1961 STRETCH (for “stretching” technology) — Most powerful computer of its day.
Pioneered in advanced systems concepts such as look-ahead, overlapping/pipelining of
instructions, and control-program operating systems, as well as introduction of the 8-bit byte and
other innovations.
1961 “Selectric” — Electric typewriter with “ball” typing element in place of type bars and
movable carriage and offering interchangeable type styles. Initially used as a computer terminal.
SABRE (Originally SABER, Semi-Automatic Business Environment Research) —
Reservation system developed with American Airlines. The first large high-speed commercial
computer/communications network that operated over telephone lines in “real time.”
1962 Removable Disk Pack — First interchangeable computer disks, permitting large “shelf”
storage of data on disks.
1964 Hypertape — Magnetic tape unit with read/write speed of 340,000 characters per
second, industry’s fastest for nearly a decade. (IBM had delivered tape units with a speed of 1.1
million characters a second to a U.S. government agency in 1962 but those units were never
offered commercially.)
1964 IBM System/360 — First major computer family with upward and downward
compatibility, allowing the use of programming across multiple systems. First computer
family to employ widespread use of read-only memory for control and the first family with
standard input-output interfaces. Extended the addressing range to 16 million bytes of real main
memory.
1964 Solid Logic Technology — The industry’s first high-volume, automatic microminiature
production of semiconductor circuits, used in the System/360.
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1966 One-Transistor Memory Cell — Invention of the dynamic memory cell using one
transistor per bit, permitting major increases in memory density. Adopted throughout the
industry.
1968 “Cache” Memory — The large, high-speed “cache” or buffer memory in IBM
System/360 Model 85 was the first in the industry. It was also the first “monolithic” computer
memory of significant size — 16,000 characters.
1970 N-Channel FET Technology — N-Channel Field-Effect Transistors, pioneered by IBM
in the 1960s, were introduced in IBM System/370 and adopted by the industry as the basic
echnology for semiconductor memories.
1970 Relational Data Base Concept — A method of structuring computer data bases that
separates data from program code, giving users major advantages in flexibility and ease of use.
1971 Semiconductor Main Memory — IBM System/370 Model 145 had the industry’s first
main memory made entirely of semiconductor circuits, replacing magnetic cores.
1971 “Thin Film” Recording Head — Development of mass-production “thin film”
recording head technology, which later enabled the IBM 3380 disk system to read and write data
at three million characters a second, the first commercial unit to achieve such a rate.
1971 “Floppy” Disk — First flexible magnetic disk or diskette, widely adopted for storage in
small computer systems.
1973 Magnetic Tape Density — Group Code Recording for magnetic tape, increasing data
density almost fourfold — to 6,250 characters per inch — the highest density then available in
the industry.
1973 “Winchester” Disk Technology — Improved read/write head design and other
improvements introduced with the IBM 3340 “Winchester” disk drive doubled information on
the disk surface — to 1.7 million bits per square inch.
1974 Systems Network Architecture — First widely used commercial computer
communications subsystems architecture (including Synchronous Data Link Control), permitting
distributed network control.
1975 Cryptography — The IBM cryptographic algorithm for protection of transmitted data,
adopted as a U.S. government and international standard, can accept 70 quadrillion possible
“keys.”
1976 Laser Printer — The IBM 3800 was the first machine to combine laser technology and
electrophotography. It can print 20,000 lines per minute.
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1978 Electron-Beam Production — IBM-designed electron-beam machine for
interconnecting chip circuits was the first used for volume production of very dense logic
circuits.
1979 64,000-Bit Chip — IBM was the first to mass produce 64,000-bit memory chips and first
to incorporate them into products.
1980 Densest Circuit Packaging — Complete logic for the large-scale IBM 3081 was
contained in 26 modules on four printed-circuit boards. This packaging of nearly 800,000
circuits was the industry’s densest.
1982 Robotic Control Language — High-precision, programmable robotic system designed
and manufactured by IBM, the IBM 7565, used the most advanced commercially available
robotic control language.
1985 Million-Bit Chip — A 1-million-bit IBM computer memory chip was the first to be
massed-produced for use in computer products.
Since the mid-1980s, of course, IBM has continued to develop and deliver advanced information
technology. Here are just some of the more recent examples of IBM’s leadership:
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IBM — with nearly 3,000 researchers worldwide — has research laboratories in eight
locations in six countries, and has cumulatively produced more research breakthroughs than
the rest of the industry combined.
IBM has employed a total of five Nobel laureates. IBM scientists have been awarded the
National Medal of Technology — the highest award for technological innovation in the
United States — six times, and the National Medal of Science three times.
In 1998, for the sixth year in a row, IBM received the most U.S. patents (2,658), 40 percent
more than in 1997. IBM now owns more than 30,000 patents worldwide.
In 1996 IBM hired 10 percent of all of the Ph.Ds in computer science and electrical
engineering to enter the U.S. work force.
In 1997 the IBM “Deep Blue” RS/6000 SP supercomputer redefined the way humanity
understands its relationship to machines by besting the greatest grand master in chess history.
In 1999 IBM announced a $100 million research initiative to build Blue Gene, a supercomputer
500 times more powerful than the world’s fastest computers, two million times more powerful than
high-end desktop PCs , and capable of more than one quadrillion operations per second (one
petaflop).
IBM storage researchers have pioneered every significant development since they invented
magnetic disk storage four decades ago. IBM scientists in 1997 set a new world record in disk
drive storage capacity by quadrupling it, breaking the barrier of 10 billion bits of data (10
gigabits) per square inch of disk surface, through IBM’s patented giant magneto resistive
(GMR) head technology. IBM introduced the world’s highest capacity new hard disk drives
for both notebook and desktop personal computers. In 1998, IBM introduced the world’s
smallest and lightest hard disk drive — the 340 MB, 0.7-ounce “microdrive.”
In 1997, IBM introduced a breakthrough in semiconductor technology with the development
of smaller, faster, more powerful and less costly integrated circuits using copper “wiring” in
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place of aluminum — a groundbreaking technological advance that had eluded chip
manufacturers for a decade. IBM shipped the industry’s first copper chips in 1998.
In 1998, IBM became the first company to introduce silicon germanium chip-making
technology into mainstream manufacturing, offering the first SiGe-based standard products
for use in wireless communications products such as cell phones and pagers.
In 1998, IBM unveiled an experimental microprocessor that operates at 1,000 megahertz, or
three times faster than the fastest Intel Pentium chip.
In 1998, IBM was the largest supplier of custom chips in North America and the second
largest in the world. That same year, IBM perfected the Silicon-on-Insulator process to
enhance chip speed by up to 35 percent and reduce power requirements by up to 66 percent.
In 1997, IBM introduced continuous speech recognition for Mandarin, through ViaVoice
software, while offering continuous speech products in seven other languages.
IBM has more than 20 locations in 13 countries with more than 3,000 professionals working
on Java technology, including services and products to help customers.
(For additional information about IBM's research achievements, please visit
http://www.research.ibm.com/about/history.shtml)
Q.
What can you tell me about IBM's early research into handwriting recognition?
A.
For information about, and an image of, early IBM research into handwriting recognition,
visit the "Scanistor" pages of our virtual exhibit "They Also Served: An Album Of IBM Special
Products (Vol. 2)" available at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/index.html
Q.
Have any IBM employees ever won the Nobel Prize?
A.
IBM is fortunate to have had five employees who have won the Nobel Prize. They are:
Leo Esaki, of the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., in 1973, for
work in semiconductors; Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, of the Zurich Research Center, in
1986, for the scanning tunneling microscope; and Georg Bednorz and Alex Mueller, also of
Zurich, in 1987, for research in superconductivity.
Q.
What has IBM contributed to the development of disk storage technology?
A.
Some of IBM’s key developments in disk storage technology over the years include the
following:
1956 IBM introduces the 350 RAMAC, the first computer disk storage system. In less than a
second, the 350 RAMAC’s “random access” arm retrieves data stored on any of 50
spinning disks. Disk technology later becomes the industry’s basic storage medium for online
transaction processing.
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1962 The IBM 1311 is the first storage unit with removable disks. Each “disk pack” holds more
than two million characters of information. Users can easily switch files for different
applications.
1965 Database and data communications applications requiring access to large amounts of
information — such as airline reservations and online banking transactions — become
economically feasible with the IBM 2314 Direct Access Storage facility.
1970 With the IBM 3330, servo feedback technology makes it possible to record data on disks
more densely than ever before. Error-correction coding increases the availability of data and the
efficiency of the manufacturing process.
1971 IBM introduces the industry’s first flexible magnetic disk, or diskette. The “floppy disk”
greatly increases the convenience of data handling. It becomes widely used as a basic storage
medium for small systems.
1974 The IBM 3340 disk drive introduces an advanced head and disk technology known as
“Winchester.” The 3340 features a small, lighter read/write head that rides closer to the disk
surface — on an air film 18 millionths of an inch thick. The 3340 doubles the information
density of IBM disks to nearly 1.7 million bits per square inch.
1980 IBM introduces “thin film” head technology, which enables the 3380 Direct Access
Storage Device (DASD) to read and write data at three million characters per second. It is the
first commercial unit to achieve such a rate. The thin-film read-write head of the IBM 3380 disk
drive “flies” 12 millionths of an inch over the disk surface. This is comparable to a large plane
flying 1/20th of an inch over a lake’s surface without touching the water.
1981 High-performance “cache” memory is introduced with the 3880 Storage Control. The
3380 moves frequently used data from disk storage into semiconductor storage for high-speed
access by the processor. Cache is an advanced, integrated system approach that uses both
hardware and software.
1985 The IBM 3380 D/E DASD are introduced. The 3380E offers five gigabytes of storage
capacity and is the largest capacity DASD of its time.
1987 Storage subsystem synergy acquires new meaning with the introduction of the triplecapacity 3380 DASD Models J and K and the 3990 Storage Control. The 3380 J/K DASD and the
3990 Models 2 and 3 deliver yet another DASD innovation: four-path data transfer. Extended
control unit functions also include DASD fast-write and dual copy.
1989 The IBM 3390 Model 2 increases the capacity of a single DASD box to 22.7 gigabytes
(22.7 billion bytes) and the throughput to 40 percent over the IBM 3380K.
1991 The 3390 DASD Model 3 increases the capacity of a single DASD unit to 34 gigabytes
and offers up to 180 gigabytes in a 3990/3390 Storage Subsystem.
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The new family of rack-mounted, CKD 9340 DASD Subsystems addresses the
requirements
of intermediate computing environments. The entry-level 9341/9345 connects to a 9221
processor and stores 2-24 gigabytes of information while the 9343/9345 stores 4-48 gigabytes
and can take advantage of ESCON.
Since the early-1990s, of course, IBM has continued to develop and deliver advanced storage
technology. Here are just some of the most recent examples of IBM’s innovations:
y http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/space/space_intro.html Implementing IBM’s patented
giant magneto resistive (GMR) head technology, IBM scientists in 1997 set a new world
record in disk drive storage capacity by quadrupling the former level and thereby breaking
the barrier of 10 billion bits of data (10 gigabits) per square inch of disk surface. IBM also
introduced the world’s highest capacity new hard disk drives for both notebook and desktop
personal computers.
y In 1998 IBM introduced the world’s smallest and lightest hard disk drive — the 340 MB, 0.7ounce “microdrive.”
Q.
Where may I find images of IBM's chips, both historical and current?
A.
Such images are available on IBM's Web site at http://www3.ibm.com/chips/photolibrary/photo10.nsf/home?ReadForm
Q.
What was IBM's role in the early days of space flight?
A.
Information about IBM's role in the pioneering years of the exploration of space may be
found on the Web at http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/space/space_intro.html
Q.
What was NORC?
A.
The Naval Ordnance Research Calculator, which was designed and built by IBM, was for
several years considered the fastest computer on Earth. Detailed information about this
innovative machine may be found on our Web site at http://www1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/norc/norc_intro.html
Q.
What was Deep Blue?
A.
Deep Blue was a combination of special purpose hardware and software with an IBM
RS/6000 SP2 -- a system capable of examining 200 million moves per second, or 50 billion
positions, in the three minutes allocated for a single move in a chess game. Additional
information about, and an image of, Deep Blue is available at http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV1001.html
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