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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 (called analogue computers in England) such as the Pastoriza Personal Analog computer and the Lan-Electronics Analogue Computer.
  • 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 are Florida, California, Massachusetts, Virginia, New York, Utah, Kansas, Ohio (yes, we even went to Cleveland), London, England, Bletchley Park, England and Milan, Italy.


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 © 2013 by Early Computers Project, All Rights Reserved.
COMPUTER COLLECTION LIST (PRE-1981)
(Analogs 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. AMF Educational Computer
  14. Apple II Plus
  15. ASCI SystemX
  16. ASR 33 Teletype
  17. Automatic Teaching Computer Kit
  18. Beckman ElectroComp Electric Heating Computer
  19. Beckman Solid State Fuel Cost Computer
  20. Brainiac K-30
  21. Calif. Computer Systems 2200
  22. CES Ed-Lab 650
  23. Commodore 8032
  24. Commodore 64
  25. Commodore PET 2001
  26. Commodore Super Pet
  27. Compucolor II
  28. Compukit 1
  29. Compukit 1 Deluxe Model
  30. Compukit 2
  31. Compukit UK101
  32. Comspace CT-650
  33. Cosmac Elf (RCA1802)
  34. Cosmac Netronics ELF II
  35. Cosmac VIP
  36. Cromemco System I
  37. Cromemco System III
  38. Cromemco Z-2D
  39. Datapoint 2200
  40. Digi-Comp I (flat box)
  41. Digi-Comp I (square box)
  42. Digital Computer Lab
  43. Dynabyte
  44. Donner 3500
  45. E & L Inst MMD-1
  46. E & L Inst MMD-2
  47. Eagle II
  48. Electric Tabulating Machine (one original counter, 1889)
  49. Electronic Associates TR-10
  50. Electronic Associates TR-10 Model II
  51. Electronic Associates TR-20
  52. Electronic Associates TR-48
  53. Electronic Associates Model 180
  54. Electronic Associates Model 380 Hybrid
  55. Geniac
  56. Google Glass (definitely not vintage)
  57. Heath EC-1 (factory assembled by Heath)
  58. Heathkit EC-1 (kit)
  59. Heathkit ET 3100 trainer
  60. Heathkit H8
  61. Heathkit H9 Video Terminal
  62. Hickok Logic Teaching Sys.
  63. Hickok Servo Teaching Sys.
  64. HP 2115A
  65. HP 85
  66. HP 5036A
  67. HP 9825A
  68. HP 9825B
  69. HP 9830A
  70. Iasis 7301
  71. I-COR MAC-1
  72. ICS Microcomputer Training System
  73. IMSAI 108
  74. IMSAI 8048 Control Computer
  75. IMSAI 8048 (The Dollhouse Computer)
  76. IMSAI 8080
  77. IMSAI PCS-40
  78. IMSAI PCS-80
  79. IMSAI VDP-80
  80. Informer
  81. Intel Intellec MDS
  82. Intel MDS-800
  83. Intel Prompt 48
  84. Intel SBC 80/10
  85. Intel SDK-85
  86. Intel SDK-85 (unassembled)
  87. Intel SDK-86
  88. ITT MP-EX
  89. JR-01 Computer
  90. KIM-1
  91. LAN-DEC
  92. LAN-DEC 20
  93. LAN-ALOG
  94. Lehrcomputer (Germany)
  95. Lawrence Livermore Lab
  96. Lear Siegler ADM3A
  97. Logix SF-5000 Electronic Computer
  98. MAC-1 Mini Analog Computer
  99. MEK6800D2
  100. Micro 68
  101. Microtan 65
  102. Midwest Scientific Instruments 6800
  103. Minivac 601
  104. Minivac 6010
  105. Mini-Scamp Microcomputer
  106. Nascom I
  107. Nascom II
  108. National Radio Institute 832
  109. NEC TK-80
  110. NorthStar Horizon
  111. Olivetti Programma 101
  112. Olivetti Programma 203
  113. Olivetti Programma 602
  114. Open University PT501
  115. Ordinateur d'Apprentissage JR-01
  116. Osborne 1
  117. OSI 300
  118. OSI 600 (SuperBoard II)
  119. OSI C2-OEM-4
  120. OSI Challenger-1P
  121. Pastoriza Personal Analogue Computer
  122. Pertec MITS 300/25 (Altair desk business system)
  123. Pertec MITS 300/55 (Altair Turnkey business system)
  124. PolyMorphic Systems 8810
  125. PolyMorphic Poly-88
  126. Protech-83
  127. Sargent-Welch Scientific Company Cat. No.7528 Analog Computer
  128. Science of Cambridge MK-14 (Sinclair)
  129. SD Systems Z80 starter kit
  130. Sharp MZ-40K
  131. Sharp MZ-80k
  132. Siemens ECB-85
  133. Signetics Instructor 50
  134. Smoke Signal Broadcasting
  135. Sol-20
  136. Spark16
  137. Sphere 1
  138. Sphere/SWTPC Computer System
  139. SWTP CMOS Microlab
  140. SWTP CT-82 Terminal
  141. SWTPC 6800
  142. SWTPC 6800 (w/ Smoke Signal Broadcasting drive)
  143. SWTPC CT-64 Video Terminal, SS-50
  144. SWTPC TV Typewriter II CT-1024
  145. Synertek VIM-1
  146. Synertek SYM-1
  147. Systron-Donner 3500
  148. Tei MCS-112
  149. Tektronix 4006-1
  150. Telefunken RAT 700
  151. TI LCM-1001 (Microprogrammer)
  152. TI LCM-1001 (Microprogrammer)
  153. TI Silent 700 Terminal
  154. TI TM 990/189
  155. Vector 1
  156. Vector 3
  157. Wang 2200
  158. Welch Scientific Company Cat. No.7528 Analog Computer
OTHER COMPUTERS (LUGGABLES 1982-1986)
  1. Chameleon Plus
  2. Commodore SX64
  3. Epson HX-20
  4. Kaypro I
  5. Kaypro II
  6. Kaypro 2x
  7. Kaypro 16
  8. Osborne 1
  9. Panasonic Senior Partner
  10. 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. Moore School Lectures Vol. II (1947)
  6. Mathematical Theory of Communication (1948)
  7. Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems (1949)
  8. The "Moore's Law" article (Electronics, 1965)
  9. Printout from Babbage's Difference Engine #2 (London Science Museum, 2004)
 
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FEATURED ITEMS:

ADDED November 30, 2013
       1969 Kitchen Computer
ADDED December 21, 2013
       1969 Kitchen Computer Press Releases
COMING SOON
       Theory and Techniques from the Moore
School Lectures, Summer 1946