American Computer Museum

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Coordinates: 45°40′43″N 111°02′27″W / 45.67861°N 111.04083°W / 45.67861; -111.04083

American Computer Museum
Established May 1990
Location Bozeman, Montana
Type Computer museum
Website http://www.compustory.com

The American Computer Museum is a museum of the history of computing, communications, artificial intelligence & robotics - located in Bozeman, Montana, USA. It was founded in May 1990 by Barbara and George Keremedjiev as a non-profit organization and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in May of 2015. The museum is also known as the American Computer & Robotics Museum. The museum was originally intended to have been located in Princeton, New Jersey, but the location was changed when the founders moved to Bozeman. It is likely the oldest extant museum dedicated to the history of computers in the world. The Computer Museum in Boston opened first, but it closed in 1999.

The museum's mission is:

"To collect, preserve, interpret, and display the artifacts and history of the information age."

Some of the Permanent Exhibits[edit]

  • Brains & Thinking Machines - A comprehensive exhibit on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Automation
  • The Age of American Optimism - 1939-1969: The technologies and popular science fiction cultural expectations of America
  • The Cal Tech: The First Successful Electronic Handheld Calculator prototype & the First Original Pocket Calculator prototype
  • The Apple 1 & the Altair: A unique exhibit on the history and origins of the Apple Computer Company with a focus on Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the Apple I Computer and numerous other historic Apple artifacts, documents and photographs - Plus an Altair Computer and an original January 1975 Popular Electronics Magazine announcing the Altair signed by Ed Roberts, Bill Gates, Paul Allen & Monte Davidoff
  • 1,700 Years of Women in Science & Technology (original documents and autographed items from Lavoisier, Lovelace, Currie, Goodall, Franklin, Ride, etc.)
  • Wired & Wireless Communications (earliest telephones, phonographs, cell and smart phones, radios, televisions, etc.)
  • Texting from the Babylonians through the Telegraph (including a Gutenberg Press reconstruction)
  • Internet History, Miniaturization and a Comparison of an Actual Human Brain & a Personal Computer
  • Four Generations of Computers Using Relays, Vacuum Tubes, Transistors and Chips
  • Personal Computers and Video Games
  • Weaving Looms to Punched Cards to Software

Awards[edit]

In 1994 the American Computer Museum won the Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits from the Society for the History of Technology.

The American Computer Museum presents (in association with the College of Engineering, the College of Letters & Science, the Humanities Institute and the Computer Science Department of Montana State University) the George R. Stibitz Computer & Communications Pioneer Awards, named for Dr. George R. Stibitz, who first used relays for computation at Bell Laboratories in 1937 and the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Awards, named for Harvard Emeritus Professor Dr. Edward O. Wilson.

  1. Stibitz Awards: Arthur Burks, Chuan Chu, Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman, James Van Tassel, Maury Irvine (Bell Labs), Eldon Hall, Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin
  2. Stibitz Awards: Ed Roberts, Doug Engelbart
  3. Stibitz Awards: James Harris (Bell Labs), Vinton G. Cerf, Robert E. Kahn
  4. Stibitz Awards: Steve Wozniak, Tim Berners-Lee, Ray Tomlinson
  5. Stibitz Awards: Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin and Stan Mazor (together)
  6. Stibitz Awards: Ralph Baer, Martin Cooper, Leroy Hood, Klein Gilhousen (Qualcomm), James Russell, Jon Titus
  7. <none awarded>
  8. <none awarded>
  9. Stibitz Awards: Ross Perot, Paul Baran, John Blankenbaker
  10. Stibitz Awards: Edward O. Wilson
  11. <none awarded>
  12. <none awarded>
  13. Wilson Awards: Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, Steve Running, Michael Soulé, David Ward (Montana State University)
  14. Stibitz Awards: Barbara Liskov, Max Mathews, Steve Sasson
    Wilson Awards: Sir Alec Jeffreys, Lynn Margulis, David Quammen
  15. Stibitz Lifetime Achievement Award: Federico Faggin
    Wilson Awards: Jim Lotimer, John Kress, Peter Belhumeur, David Jacobs
  16. Stibitz Awards: Robert Metcalfe, Vic Hayes
    Wilson Awards: Paul Anastas, May Berenbaum, Gary Strobel
  17. Stibitz Awards: Walt Disney, Chuck Hull, John Henry Holland
    Wilson Awards: Frans de Waal, Jean B. Sweeney
  18. Stibitz Awards: Eric Horvitz, Douglas Hofstadter, Hans Moravec, Edward Feigenbaum, David Andes, Cynthia Breazeal
    Wilson Awards: Rebecca D. Costa, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Cathy Whitlock (Montana State University), John Charles Priscu

Collection[edit]

Items in the museum's collection include the following.

  • Antikythera mechanism (replica), earliest known geared mechanism, circa 100 B.C.
  • Arithmometer, a mechanical calculator
  • Model K (replica built for the museum by its inventor, George R. Stibitz)
  • Apple 1 Computer (donated & signed by Steve Wozniak)
  • Minuteman 1 Missile Guidance Computer
  • Historical books & documents related to the history of computing, communications & knowledge such as original copies of Newton's Principia & Opticks and Locke's Humane Understanding
  • Telegraph, telephone, cash registers, and office equipment
  • The IBM 1620, IBM System/360 Model 20, Univac 1004, and other mainframe computers & associated hardware from the 1950s - 1990s
  • Analog computers
  • Minicomputers
  • Signed microcomputing artifacts
  • Burroughs 205 (1954)
  • Personal computers
  • Typewriters
  • Mechanical adding machines
  • Slide rules
  • Hand-held mechanical calculators
  • IBM 409 (relay based tabulator)
  • IBM 604 (vacuum tube calculator)
  • IBM 1620 (early transistor machine)
  • PDP-8, PDP-8/1 (desktop minicomputers)
  • Altair, IMSAI, Commodore PET, SOL, Apple II, III, Lisa, Mac, KIM, SYM, etc. (microcomputers)
  • Electromechanical/electronic calculators
  • Friden, SCM, Monroe, Mathatron, Anita, Wang (electromechanical/electronic calculators)
  • Mechanical, electrical, and electronic toys (such as Consul the Educated Monkey (1918), Pong)
  • An industrial robot
  • An Apollo Guidance Computer on loan from the Smithsonian
  • Displays covering topics such as computer memory (for example: Selectron Tube, core panels, delay lines, etc.), history of electronics, etc.
  • A Norden bombsight
  • The above is a partial list of the thousands of artifacts, books, documents, images, etc. in the American Computer Museum's holdings

See also[edit]

External links[edit]