Computers for Sale

Stantec ZEBRA advertisement

Designed by Dutchman Willem van der Poel, the ZEBRA — a Dutch acronym for “Very Simple Binary Calculating Machine” — was used for research on supersonic aircraft, nuclear physics, marine studies, and post office statistics.

Computers for Sale

Many early computer companies had deep roots in the late 19th century office equipment and telecommunications industries. Having built strong connections to commercial customers, selling electronic computers to them was a natural step.

Many companies entered the field by snapping up small start-up computer companies, firms that had pioneered this new technology by producing mostly one-of-a-kind machines.

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Remington Rand UNIVAC 120 advertisement

Remington Rand began a computer design program in 1949 at a country estate in Connecticut. The UNIVAC 120 punched card calculator was programmed using plugboards that were familiar to Remington’s existing customers.

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Ferranti Mercury advertisement

The Ferranti Mercury was more reliable and faster than its predecessor, the Ferranti Mark I. Several of the 19 machines sold were exported, including one to a university in Argentina.

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ElectroData Datatron 204 advertisement

ElectroData’s successful Datatron 204 was less expensive than larger competitors. About 100 were sold. Computer scientist Don Knuth’s student project was to write an Algol-58 compiler for it.

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IBM Electronics advertisement

IBM had a well-established research and development program for electronics years before it released the IBM 701 computer. The one-of-a kind IBM SSEC computer described in this brochure used both relays and vacuum tubes.

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