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Browse Prior Art Database

Museums and Archives

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129688D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 4 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

DAVID ALLISON: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This Department is concerned with keeping our readers up to date with the activities of museums and archives concerned with the history of computing. A major survey of these activities appeared in Volume 10 Number 4, and updates appeared in the last issue of volumes 11 and 12. Readers, particularly those involved in museum or archive work, are urged to contact the editor with information, suggestions, or comments related to this Department.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 27% of the total text.

Page 1 of 4

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1991 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Museums and Archives

DAVID ALLISON, EDITOR

This Department is concerned with keeping our readers up to date with the activities of museums and archives concerned with the history of computing. A major survey of these activities appeared in Volume 10 Number 4, and updates appeared in the last issue of volumes 11 and 12.

Readers, particularly those involved in museum or archive work, are urged to contact the editor with information, suggestions, or comments related to this Department.

Musee National des Techniques, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers

A special, five month, exhibition of 74 artifacts of computing -- from the saun pan abacus to a Honeywell Bull microcalculator of 1979 -- opened at the Musee on 23 April 1990. The exhibition marked the 350th anniversary of the construction of the first calculator by B raise Pascal, and it includes two original Pascal calculators.

The three principal displays were composed of artifacts relating to the mechanization of calculation, automation (of the 17th century) and the evolution of the computer. Mechanization of calculation was demonstrated through the display that included the calculating machine of Pascal (1642) and its descendants, Napier's Bones (1620), Partridge's slide rule (1671), Thomas de Colmar's arithmometer (1822), and the multiplier of Leon Bollec (1889). Automation was represented thorough the early uses of player-piano-like studded cylinders and punched cards, the latter including a small loom by Falcon (1728) and a card driven "orgonophonc." The evolution of the computer section included a Hollerith machine, the Couffignal calculator (1950), a GAMMA 60 computer, and an IBM 7030 (STRETCH).

Several interactive stations were placed in the central aisle of the exhibit to enable visitors to understand the functioning of the Pascal calculator (and its carry mechanism), multiplication using Napier's bones, additional information on the design of computers, the principles of computation and the characteristics of the systems on display.

A colorful catalog on the exhibit contains not only brief descriptions of the artifacts in the exhibit but also a short history of computing that places the objects in a broader context.

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The Museum's major exhibition relating to the history of computers, Information Age, has now been open for over a year. The exhibit is unique in the Smithsonian because a local area network connects most of the interactive displays. The network enhances visitor experience by collecting records of their interactions so they can get a personalized record of their visit. It also keeps track of the operational status of the interactive components so problems can be spotted rapidly and resolved. Finally it provides an indication o...