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Wang Laboratories: From Success to Success to…

An Wang

An Wang, born and educated in China, came to the U.S. after World War II and got his PhD from Harvard. There he invented a type of magnetic core logic circuits. Wang co-founded Wang Laboratories in 1951.

Wang Laboratories: From Success to Success to…

Wang Laboratories was a successful calculator company. Then a successful word processor company. The 1973 Wang 2200 made it a successful computer company too. Wang sold the 2200 primarily through Value Added Resellers, who added special software to solve customer problems.

The PC era ended Wang’s success. It filed for bankruptcy in 1992.

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Wang 2200

The Wang 2200 was unusual because it could only be programmed in the BASIC language—the “machine language” was hidden from users. The computer was targeted primarily at business customers.

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Wang 2200 brochure

Wang initially called the 2200 a calculator…but it was really a minicomputer. Prepackaged applications made it popular with small businesses. About 65,000 were sold.

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Christy & Thompson Company

Paul Gibbons, manager of Massachusetts auto parts jobber Christy & Thompson, used Wang’s prepackaged $PARK application to control an inventory of 50,000 automotive parts.

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