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At the Museum

Spend a day at the Computer History Museum. Find out why computer history is 2000 years old. Learn about computer history’s game-changers in our multimedia exhibitions. Play a game of Pong or Spacewar! Listen to computer pioneers tell their story from their own perspective. Discover the roots of today’s Internet and mobile devices. See over 1,100 historic artifacts, including some of the very first computers from the 1940s and 1950s.

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Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing

Premiering in 2011, this exhibit celebrates the spectacular history of computing, from mysterious ancient devices to technologies of the future. Journey through 19 alcoves, each dedicated to a different aspect of computing and featuring an iconic object. Discover, in our multi-media displays, the back-stories, development drama, and astonishing breakthroughs of the gadgets, gurus and companies you love or love to hate.

IBM Watson exhibit featuring the original Jeopardy! IBM Watson

Come see the IBM Watson exhibit featuring the original Jeopardy! Stage Set through May 2014

In 2011, the Watson computing system made history on the quiz show Jeopardy! Come to the museum and write your name on the podium from the original Jeopardy! stage set, play Jeopardy! with a simulated version of Watson and learn about cognitive computing.

Museum visitors are encouraged to tweet their photos with Watson using #IBMWatson

IBM 1401 Demo Lab


The IBM 1401 was introduced in 1959. Its impact was dramatic. By the mid-1960s, nearly half the computers in the world were IBM 1401s. The 1401 was relatively inexpensive, simple yet powerful, and easily expandable. For businesses it was the perfect solution and provided a way forward form punched card mechanical processing to modern, electronic computing.


The Mouse that Roared

This one-ton "minicomputer" designed in 1959 by Digital Equipment Corporation, captivated an early generation of hackers with revolutionary real-time capability, interactivity, graphics and an addictive game called SpaceWar! See demonstrations of the box that made Rolling Stone magazine rave, "Ready or not. Computers are coming to the people."

Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles

Opening May 9th

"Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles" will chronicle the decades-long challenge of bringing self-driving cars to the general public. Self-driving cars have remained perpetually two decades away since the 1930s, while over the past century, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles have conquered the air, sea and roamed the edges of our solar system.

The Babbage Engine

The Story of the First Computer Pioneer

A 150-year old computer? In 1834, Charles Babbage designed "Difference Engine No. 2," an automatic computing engine, but failed to build it. He died insisting future generations would prove his idea was sound. See it here, faithfully built to plan in 1991 – and functioning exactly as predicted.