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Welcome to our collection of Rare Computers & Documents

picture of the Electronic Associates Inc. (EAI), TR-10 analog computer from the EarlyComputers collection of rare computers and vintage computers that catalog the history of computing

This collection of rare and vintage computers is one of the largest collections of historical computers in the United States. The EarlyComputers' collection is intended to foster education, encourage research and preserve items that are an integral part of computer history. Our goal is to provide a wide array of rare materials (hardware, software, magazines, newsletters, peripheral devices, books, advertisements, games and personal recollections) that can be used to obtain a broader and better understanding of the history of computing.

The collection houses over 1,000 vintage computer related items, including more than 180 vintage computers and over 20 analog computers. The collection of hardware, software and print materials consists of a wide variety of rare computer items ranging from an 1834 article about Charles Babbage's "new Calculating Engine" to a 45 rpm blue, vinyl record used to store computer programs to numerous computers manufactured between 1950 and 1981.

The EarlyComputers website is attempting to provide you with original research using primary source materials whenever possible. Aside from making use of the rare computers in the EarlyComputer's collection, we are also making use of the Smithsonian, the National Archives, numerous other collections (such as Bruce Damer's DigiBarn collection) and personal interviews with individuals who were involved in bringing about the personal computer revolution.


What's in the EarlyComputers Collection?

  • The collection houses personal computers such as Altair, Imsai, Nascom, Cromemco, OSI, SWTPC, AIM, Cosmac, Hewitt-Packard, Minivac, Commodore, Heathkit, Intel, EAI, Olivetti, Northstar, CompuKit and Texas Instruments among others. (see a partial listing on the right)
  • We house a very large collection of rare computer documents related to the history of computing. These include documents from early as 1834 (Charles Babbage's Difference Engine), 1889 (the Electric Tabulating System), 1948 (Shannon's Mathematical Theory of Communication), 1949 (Shannon's Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems), 1965 (Gordon Moore's article in which he posits the now famous "Moore's Law") and many others up to 1981.
  • Another focus of the collection is on contemporary print material ranging from computer magazines (such as the People's Computer Company, Byte and the Silicon Gulph Gazette) to company catalogs and brochures to mimeographed newsletters such as the Computer Notes (Altair), the Viper (Cosmac VIP) and Ipso Facto.
  • In addition, the collection houses the largest collection of analog computers in North America and includes analog computers from companies such as Electronic Associates Inc., Welch, Donner Scientific and AMF among others. The collection includes several extremely rare analog computers such as the Pastoriza Personal Analog computer, a pre-WWII US Navy fire control analog computer and the Lan-Electronics Analogue Computer (the English spelling).
  • We also have a large number of rare computer documents and objects related to Herman Hollerith who is the first person to use electricity in tabulating data. His Electric Tabulating Machine is one of the foundations of modern computing and it clearly demonstrated that electrical computing would be significantly more efficient than any other known method. Hollerith is also credited with developing the modern punch card system of storing and sorting data (what many of us now call IBM cards).

The EarlyComputers' collection of vintage computers is currently housed near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But we have travelled far and wide to find rare computers, obtain vintage documents and interview those who have contributed to the history of computing. Among the places we have travelled in our search for computer history are
  • Bletchley Park, England
  • Cardiff, Wales
  • Panama City, Florida
  • Olathe, Kansas
  • Leicester, England
  • London, England
  • Massachusetts
  • Milan, Italy
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Albany, New York
  • Ohio (yes, we even went to Cleveland)
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Rugby, England
  • St. Lake City, Utah
  • Sacremento, California
  • San Jose, California
 
In addition to our travels, we have collected items from:

Australia
Austria
Brazil
Denmark
Egypt
France
Germany
India
Japan
Netherlands
Phillippines
Poland


What is a "Vintage Computer"?

There are many definitions of what an "early" computer really is. Some say a computer made more than 20 years ago is historical, others argue that a truly vintage computer must be 25 years or even 30 years. The trouble with choosing a timespan like "25 years ago" is that it changes as each year goes by.

We choose to pick a significant date in the history of personal computing. We define early computers as those made before IBM entered the personal computer market in 19811. IBM's entrance into personal computing changed the face of the industry. With IBM's knowledge, marketing and world-wide presence, it instantly became the 800 pound gorilla and not many companies survived. Therefore, our collection is generally limited to items manufactured or printed ON or BEFORE 1981.

For a more detailed definition of what makes a vintage computer, see our article entitled, "What was the first personal computer?". [Coming Soon]


As we develop the earlycomputers.com website, we hope to give you the opportunity to participate directly online.... the chance to add your stories, your research and your experience to ours. In the meantime, if you are interested in participating, please contact us at help@earlycomputers.com.

  1. IBM announced its entry into the personal computer market in August 1981. That sounded the death knell for
    many small computer companies that could not compete with IBM.






Copyright © 2017 by Early Computers Project, All Rights Reserved.
COMPUTER COLLECTION
1926--1981
(Analogs are in blue)
  1. AIM-65 (single board)
  2. AIM-65 (factory case)
  3. AIM-65 (Jon Titus)
  4. ALICE micro-ordinateur
  5. Altair 680
  6. Altair 8800
  7. Altair 8800A
  8. Altair 8800b
  9. Altair 8800b Turnkey (see Pertec below)
  10. Altair 8800b (see Pertec below)
  11. Altair 8800b w/ Hardisk Controller & Datakeeper
  12. Altos ACS-8000
  13. American Basic Science Club Analog Computer
  14. AMF Educational Computer Model 665/C
  15. AMF Educational Computer Model 775 A
  16. Apple II Plus
  17. ASCI SystemX
  18. ASR 33 Teletype
  19. Automatic Teaching Computer Kit
  20. Beckman ElectroComp Electric Heating Computer
  21. Beckman ElectroComp Energy Savings Computer
  22. Beckman Solid State Fuel Cost Computer
  23. Brainiac K-30
  24. Calif. Computer Systems 2200
  25. CES Ed-Lab 650
  26. Commodore 8032
  27. Commodore 64
  28. Commodore PET 2001
  29. Commodore Super Pet
  30. Compucolor II
  31. Compukit 1
  32. Compukit 1 Deluxe Model
  33. Compukit 2
  34. Compukit UK101
  35. Comspace CT-650
  36. Cosmac Elf (RCA1802)
  37. Cosmac Microtutor
  38. Cosmac Netronics ELF II
  39. Cosmac VIP
  40. Cromemco System I
  41. Cromemco System III
  42. Cromemco Z-2D
  43. Datapoint 2200
  44. Digi-Comp I (flat box)
  45. Digi-Comp I (square box)
  46. Digital Computer Lab
  47. Donner 3500
  48. Durango F-85
  49. Dynabyte
  50. E & L Inst MMD-1
  51. E & L Inst MMD-2
  52. Eagle II
  53. Electric Tabulating Machine (one original counter, 1889)
  54. Electronic Associates TR-10
  55. Electronic Associates TR-10 Model II
  56. Electronic Associates TR-20
  57. Electronic Associates TR-48
  58. Electronic Associates Model 180
  59. Electronic Associates Model 380 Hybrid
  60. Geniac
  61. Google Glass (definitely not vintage)
  62. Heath EC-1 (factory assembled by Heath)
  63. Heathkit EC-1 (kit)
  64. Heathkit ET 3100 trainer
  65. Heathkit H8
  66. Heathkit H9 Video Terminal
  67. Hewlett Packard 2115A
  68. Hewlett Packard 85
  69. Hewlett Packard 5036A
  70. Hewlett Packard 9825A
  71. Hewlett Packard 9825B
  72. Hewlett Packard 9830A
  73. Hickok Logic Teaching Sys.
  74. Hickok Servo Teaching Sys.
  75. Iasis 7301
  76. I-COR MAC-1
  77. ICS Microcomputer Training System
  78. IMSAI 108 (prototype)
  79. IMSAI 8048 Control Computer
  80. IMSAI 8048 (The Dollhouse Computer)
  81. IMSAI 8080
  82. IMSAI PCS-40
  83. IMSAI PCS-80
  84. IMSAI VDP-80
  85. Informer
  86. Intel Intellec MDS
  87. Intel MDS-800
  88. Intel Prompt 48
  89. Intel SBC 80/10
  90. Intel SDK-85
  91. Intel SDK-85 (unassembled)
  92. Intel SDK-86
  93. Intertec Superbrain
  94. ITT MP-EX
  95. JR-01 Computer
  96. KIM-1
  97. LAN-DEC
  98. LAN-DEC 20
  99. LAN-ALOG
  100. Lehrcomputer (Germany)
  101. Lawrence Livermore Lab
  102. Lear Siegler ADM3A
  103. Logikit LK255 (Feedback)
  104. Logix SF-5000 Electronic Computer
  105. MAC-1 Mini Analog Computer
  106. MAC Tutor (Bell Laboratories)
  107. Mark 1A Fire Control Computer, ElectroMechanical Analog Computer, 1945?
  108. MEK6800D2
  109. Micro 68
  110. MicroAce
  111. Microtan 65
  112. Midwest Scientific Instruments 6800
  113. Minivac 601
  114. Minivac 6010
  115. Mini-Scamp Microcomputer
  116. Nascom I
  117. Nascom II
  118. National Radio Institute 832
  119. NEC TK-80
  120. NorthStar Horizon
  121. Olivetti Programma 101
  122. Olivetti Programma 203
  123. Olivetti Programma 602
  124. Open University PT501
  125. Ordinateur d'Apprentissage JR-01
  126. Osborne 1
  127. OSI 300
  128. OSI 600 (SuperBoard II)
  129. OSI C2-OEM-4
  130. OSI Challenger-1P
  131. Pastoriza Personal Analogue Computer
  132. Pertec MITS 300/25 (Altair desk business system)
  133. Pertec MITS 300/55 (Altair Turnkey business system)
  134. PolyMorphic Systems 8810
  135. PolyMorphic Poly-88
  136. Protech-83
  137. Range Keeper Mk.6 Mechanical Analog Computer, 1926
  138. Range Keeper Mk.7 Mechanical Analog Computer, 1934
  139. Sargent-Welch Scientific Company Cat. No.7528 Analog Computer
  140. Science of Cambridge MK-14 (Sinclair)
  141. SD Systems Z80 starter kit
  142. Sharp MZ-40K
  143. Sharp MZ-80k
  144. Siemens ECB-85
  145. Signetics Instructor 50
  146. Sinclair ZX-81
  147. Smoke Signal Broadcasting
  148. Sol-20
  149. Spark16
  150. Sphere 1
  151. Sphere/SWTPC Computer System
  152. SWTP CMOS Microlab
  153. SWTP CT-82 Terminal
  154. SWTPC 6800
  155. SWTPC 6800 (w/ Smoke Signal Broadcasting drive)
  156. SWTPC CT-64 Video Terminal, SS-50
  157. SWTPC TV Typewriter II CT-1024
  158. Synertek VIM-1
  159. Synertek SYM-1
  160. Systron-Donner 3500
  161. Tei MCS-112
  162. Tektronix 4006-1
  163. Telefunken RAT 700
  164. TI LCM-1001 (Microprogrammer)
  165. TI LCM-1001 (Microprogrammer)
  166. TI Silent 700 Terminal
  167. TI TM 990/189
  168. Vector 1
  169. Vector 3
  170. Vidac 336
  171. Wang 2200
  172. Welch Scientific Company Cat. No.7528 Analog Computer
  173. Xerox 820 Mark I
OTHER COMPUTERS (LUGGABLES 1982-1986)
  1. Chameleon Plus
  2. Commodore SX64
  3. Epson HX-20
  4. Hewlett Packard 110
  5. Kaypro I
  6. Kaypro II
  7. Kaypro 2x
  8. Kaypro 16
  9. Osborne 1
  10. Panasonic Senior Partner
  11. Visual Commuter
RARE & NOTABLE DOCUMENTS
  1. Babbage's Calculating Engine (1834)
  2. Electric Tabulating Machine (1889, Herman Hollerith's personal copy)
  3. The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System (1890)
  4. Counting a Nation by Electricity (1891)
  5. Calculating Machines (1947)
  6. Moore School Lectures Vol. II (1947)
  7. Mathematical Theory of Communication (1948)
  8. Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems (1949)
  9. The "Moore's Law" article (Electronics, 1965)
  10. Printout from Babbage's Difference Engine #2 (London Science Museum, 2004)
 
    searchYEARS
FEATURED ITEMS:
ADDED August 15, 2015
       Rare 1936 Analog Computer:
             the Range Keeper Mark 7
ADDED May 10, 2015
       Hollerith & the 1890 Census
COMING SOON
       Theory and Techniques from the Moore
School Lectures, Summer 1946