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Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum is an institution dedicated to the preservation of artifacts and information related to the development of computers.

A brief history of the museum:
In the late 1960s, Gordon and Gwen Bell put together a collection of their own computing devices and displayed it in the lobby of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Boston. The Bell’s collection first displayed as The Computer Museum (TCM) in 1984. The collection has been relocated and renamed several times over the years. The official name became the Computer History Museum (CHM) in 2000 and in 2003 the collection opened to the public in its current location, Mountain View, California.

Physical exhibits include:

  • Cray-1, Cray-2 and Cray-3 supercomputers.
  • A construction of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, which he designed in the 1820s.
  • A reconstruction of DEC’s historic PDP-1 minicomputer (see PDP-11).
  • An Apple I.
  • The Nieman Marcus Kitchen Computer from the 1970s.

Among the many exhibits available on the museum’s website:

  • The Silicon Engine: A timeline of semiconductors in computing history.
  • Computer History Timeline: Significant milestones 1939-1994.
  • The Babbage Engine: The story of the first computer pioneer.
  • Internet History: Major Milestones 1962-1992.
  • This Day in History: What happened in computer history on any given date.

 

See a brief video introduction to the Computer History Museum:

This was last updated in August 2012

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