IBM 601

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IBM 601 Multiplying Punch

The IBM 601 Multiplying Punch was a unit record machine that could read two numbers from a punched card and punch their product in a blank field on the same card. The factors could be up to eight decimal digits long.[1] The 601 was introduced in 1931 and was the first IBM machine that could do multiplication.[2][3]

In 1936 W. J. Eckert connected a modified 601 to a 285 tabulator and an 016 duplicating punch through a custom switch he designed and used the combined setup to perform scientific calculations.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The IBM 601 Multiplying Punch, Frank da Cruz, Columbia University Computing History
  2. ^ 1931, IBM Archives, ...New products introduced during the year include...and the IBM 600 series calculating machines, the first IBM machines to perform multiplication and division...
  3. ^ Exports and Security, Computerworld, 19 Jan 1976, Page 13, ...the Watson lab at Columbia were using IBM 601 calculating punches (600 multiplications, not per second or per millisecond, but per hour) to do shock wave partial differential equation calculations in 1945!...
  4. ^ Eckert, W.J., Punched Card Methods in Scientific Computation, The Thomas J. Watson Astronomical Computing Bureau, Columbia University (1940)