Artifact Details


Stylus driver

Catalog Number



Physical object


Radiation, Inc.

Place Manufactured

Melbourne, Fla.

Identifying Numbers

Other number LEA69.3113.21 Printed in white on left edge of component side; also on right edge on circuit side


overall: 1/2 in x 3 in x 5 1/4 in


This module consists of transistors, resistors, capacitors and diodes. It was part of the "Radiation Printer" used at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in the 1970s. Radiation, Inc. modified a real (Hamilton) printing press and added the needed electronics and controls to produce a printer that ran at seven pages per second , extremely fast for the era. This module varied the voltage to the print head.
Accompanying this module is a note which reads: " Voltage applied to the stylus in the "Radiation Printer" had to be high enough to produce an arc from a selected stylus to a ground plane, passing through the printer paper where it burned a tiny hole in the white coating thereby revealing the black undercoating of the paper. A character was formed from selected dots in 7 rows of 5 dots with 3 additional dots for spacing between each character. There were 132 characters placed in a line and counting a suitable space between characters, there were 1,024 styli in the print head. The create of printing was a nominal 62,500 characters per second; up to 132 characters per line and up to 66 such lines per page could be printed. The paper was moved past the row of styli at the rate of 7 pages per second, so it is easy to see that the styli could get very busy. A full description of the operation of the Radiation Printer can be found elsewhere within the Museum."




Gift of George Michael

Lot Number