Artifact Details


Carriage-control tape rack

Catalog Number



Physical object




Wright Line, Inc.

Place Manufactured


Identifying Numbers

Model number 1403


16 x 9 1/2 x 3 in.


Object is a rack designed to support and organize carriage control tapes which could be used with a 402 or 407 accounting machine or with a 1403 printer. A number of tapes are present on the rack. A carriage-control tape is a paper tape which is punched in at least one location to mark the top of a form. The length of the tape determines the length of the form. The tape is mounted in the printer and rotates in synch with the continuous-feed paper forms moving through the printer. Tapes could also be punched in different "channels" to mark other points on the form, and the programmer can specify "skip to channel 1 (2, 3, etc)" as part of the printed output. Thus a program could "skip to 1" (top of form), print an address, "skip to 2" and print body lines, "skip to 3" and print a total, greatly speeding the printed output. A different tape is used for each different type of form used; in a large data center there could be dozens of forms and dozens of tapes, and this rack was used to store and organize the tapes when they were not being used. Computer operators became skilled at mounting thecarriage control tapes on the printer whenever they changed the forms, and at preparing new tapes when old ones wore out and broke.


Ephemera: other

Lot Number