Artifact Details

Title

SAGE: Magnetic Drum Unit

Catalog Number

X261.83

Type

Physical object

Date

1958

Manufacturer

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)

Place Manufactured

U.S.

Dimensions

overall: 122 1/2 in x 31 1/2 in x 88 in

Description

Alternative label copy: SAGE console, 1958 This console was the user interface to the SAGE (Semi- Automatic Ground Environment) computer system known as the "FSQ-7." Begun in 1952 (and operational six years later), SAGE became the first U.S. continental air defense system, linking dozens of radar stations, weather bureaus, airports, and air force command centers together into a real-time early warning system. It comprised redundant CPUs, modems, "light gun" input, and earned its IBM, its prime contractor, over $1 billion in revenues over the life of the system. Despite it's complement of more than 50,000 vacuum tubes, the FSQ-7 was highly reliable (> 99.97% uptime).

Category

Memory: drum

Credit

Gift of the National Museum of Science and Technology

Lot Number

X261.83