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 and communications located in Bozeman, Montana, USA. It was founded in May 1990 by Barbara and George Keremedjiev as a non-profit organization. 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."

Permanent exhibit halls[edit]

  •  !Robots! - A comprehensive collection and exhibit spanning Science Fiction, Entertainment, Automation & Social robots.
  • Altair & Cal Tech: The First Successful Personal Computer & Electronic Handheld Calculator
  • Steve & Steve: A Comprehensive New 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 artifacts, documents and photographs.
  • 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]

The American Computer Museum won the Dibner Award for Excellence in Exhibits in 1994.

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, Eldon Hall, Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin
  2. Stibitz Awards: Ed Roberts, Doug Engelbart
  3. Stibitz Awards: James Harris, 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, 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
  14. Stibitz Awards: Barbara Liskov, Max Matthews, 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

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 by Steve Wozniak)
  • Minuteman 1 Missile Guidance Computer
  • Historical documents related to the history of computing such as original copies of Newton's The Enlightenment and Locke's Humane Understanding
  • Telegraph, telephone, cash registers, and office equipment
  • The IBM 1620, IBM System/360, Univac 1004, and other mainframe hardware from the 1960s and 1970s
  • 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)
  • IBM System/360 mainframe
  • IBM System/3 computer
  • 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]