Artifact Details

Title

Retirement video for the Philco 212 Mainframe Computer

Catalog Number

102703148

Type

Moving Image

Date

1981-12

Publisher

Ford Aerospace & Communications Corp.

Duration

00:26:00

Format

DVD

Description

This video documents the final day of operation for the last-known functioning Philco 2000 Model 212 computer at Ford Aerospace & Communications Corporation’s Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. The Philco 212 was one of the earliest commercial transistorized computers, first delivered in 1962. Ford had purchased Philco the year before.

Recorded in December 1981, this recording begins with a welcome from the computer itself: scrolling across the lamps of it’s operator console plays the message, “PHILCO: FAMOUS FOR QUALITY THE WORLD OVER. EAT DRINK & BE MERRY FOR TODAY I RETIRE." This is followed by scenes of the computer room and various functioning peripherals at work including tape drives, disk drives, card readers and printers. The computer then plays Christmas carols, including ‘Hark, The Herald Angel Sings’ and ‘The First Noël’. Finally, the moment arrives, a short speech is given, operator Bill Moore is asked to “deliver last rites” to the computer and the machine is finally powered down after almost twenty years of service.