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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. American Basic Science Club Analog Computer
  14. AMF Educational Computer
  15. Apple II Plus
  16. ASCI SystemX
  17. ASR 33 Teletype
  18. Automatic Teaching Computer Kit
  19. Beckman ElectroComp Electric Heating Computer
  20. Beckman Solid State Fuel Cost Computer
  21. Brainiac K-30
  22. Calif. Computer Systems 2200
  23. CES Ed-Lab 650
  24. Commodore 8032
  25. Commodore 64
  26. Commodore PET 2001
  27. Commodore Super Pet
  28. Compucolor II
  29. Compukit 1
  30. Compukit 1 Deluxe Model
  31. Compukit 2
  32. Compukit UK101
  33. Comspace CT-650
  34. Cosmac Elf (RCA1802)
  35. Cosmac Microtutor
  36. Cosmac Netronics ELF II
  37. Cosmac VIP
  38. Cromemco System I
  39. Cromemco System III
  40. Cromemco Z-2D
  41. Datapoint 2200
  42. Digi-Comp I (flat box)
  43. Digi-Comp I (square box)
  44. Digital Computer Lab
  45. Dynabyte
  46. Donner 3500
  47. E & L Inst MMD-1
  48. E & L Inst MMD-2
  49. Eagle II
  50. Electric Tabulating Machine (one original counter, 1889)
  51. Electronic Associates TR-10
  52. Electronic Associates TR-10 Model II
  53. Electronic Associates TR-20
  54. Electronic Associates TR-48
  55. Electronic Associates Model 180
  56. Electronic Associates Model 380 Hybrid
  57. Geniac
  58. Google Glass (definitely not vintage)
  59. Heath EC-1 (factory assembled by Heath)
  60. Heathkit EC-1 (kit)
  61. Heathkit ET 3100 trainer
  62. Heathkit H8
  63. Heathkit H9 Video Terminal
  64. Hickok Logic Teaching Sys.
  65. Hickok Servo Teaching Sys.
  66. HP 2115A
  67. HP 85
  68. HP 5036A
  69. HP 9825A
  70. HP 9825B
  71. HP 9830A
  72. Iasis 7301
  73. I-COR MAC-1
  74. ICS Microcomputer Training System
  75. IMSAI 108 (prototype)
  76. IMSAI 8048 Control Computer
  77. IMSAI 8048 (The Dollhouse Computer)
  78. IMSAI 8080
  79. IMSAI PCS-40
  80. IMSAI PCS-80
  81. IMSAI VDP-80
  82. Informer
  83. Intel Intellec MDS
  84. Intel MDS-800
  85. Intel Prompt 48
  86. Intel SBC 80/10
  87. Intel SDK-85
  88. Intel SDK-85 (unassembled)
  89. Intel SDK-86
  90. ITT MP-EX
  91. JR-01 Computer
  92. KIM-1
  93. LAN-DEC
  94. LAN-DEC 20
  95. LAN-ALOG
  96. Lehrcomputer (Germany)
  97. Lawrence Livermore Lab
  98. Lear Siegler ADM3A
  99. Logix SF-5000 Electronic Computer
  100. MAC-1 Mini Analog Computer
  101. MAC Tutor (Bell Laboratories)
  102. MEK6800D2
  103. Micro 68
  104. Microtan 65
  105. Midwest Scientific Instruments 6800
  106. Minivac 601
  107. Minivac 6010
  108. Mini-Scamp Microcomputer
  109. Nascom I
  110. Nascom II
  111. National Radio Institute 832
  112. NEC TK-80
  113. NorthStar Horizon
  114. Olivetti Programma 101
  115. Olivetti Programma 203
  116. Olivetti Programma 602
  117. Open University PT501
  118. Ordinateur d'Apprentissage JR-01
  119. Osborne 1
  120. OSI 300
  121. OSI 600 (SuperBoard II)
  122. OSI C2-OEM-4
  123. OSI Challenger-1P
  124. Pastoriza Personal Analogue Computer
  125. Pertec MITS 300/25 (Altair desk business system)
  126. Pertec MITS 300/55 (Altair Turnkey business system)
  127. PolyMorphic Systems 8810
  128. PolyMorphic Poly-88
  129. Protech-83
  130. Range Keeper Mechanical Analog Computer, 1936?
  131. Sargent-Welch Scientific Company Cat. No.7528 Analog Computer
  132. Science of Cambridge MK-14 (Sinclair)
  133. SD Systems Z80 starter kit
  134. Sharp MZ-40K
  135. Sharp MZ-80k
  136. Siemens ECB-85
  137. Signetics Instructor 50
  138. Smoke Signal Broadcasting
  139. Sol-20
  140. Spark16
  141. Sphere 1
  142. Sphere/SWTPC Computer System
  143. SWTP CMOS Microlab
  144. SWTP CT-82 Terminal
  145. SWTPC 6800
  146. SWTPC 6800 (w/ Smoke Signal Broadcasting drive)
  147. SWTPC CT-64 Video Terminal, SS-50
  148. SWTPC TV Typewriter II CT-1024
  149. Synertek VIM-1
  150. Synertek SYM-1
  151. Systron-Donner 3500
  152. Tei MCS-112
  153. Tektronix 4006-1
  154. Telefunken RAT 700
  155. TI LCM-1001 (Microprogrammer)
  156. TI LCM-1001 (Microprogrammer)
  157. TI Silent 700 Terminal
  158. TI TM 990/189
  159. Vector 1
  160. Vector 3
  161. Wang 2200
  162. Welch Scientific Company Cat. No.7528 Analog Computer
  163. Xerox 820 Mark I
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)
 
    searchYEARS
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