2.Second Generation Computers (1954 -1959) – transistor

Tom Watson, Jr.

2.Second Generation Computers (1954 -1959) – transistor

  • 1950 – National Bureau of Standards (NBS) introduced its Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC) with 10,000 newly developed germanium diodes in its logic circuits, and the first magnetic disk drive designed by Jacob Rabinow
  • 1953 – Tom Watson, Jr., led IBM to introduce the model 604 computer, its first with transistors, that became the basis of the model 608 of 1957, the first solid-state computer for the commercial market. Transistors were expensive at first, cost $8 vs. $.75 for a vacuum tube. But Watson was impressed with the new transistor radios and gave them to his engineers to study. IBM also developed the 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator, the first by IBM to use magnetic drum memory rather punched cards, and began shipment of the 701 scientific “Defense Calculator” that was the first of the Model 700 line that dominated main frame computers for the next decade
  • 1955 – IBM introduced the 702 business computer; Watson on the cover of Time magazine March 28
  • 1956 – Bendix G-15A small business computer sold for only $45,000, designed by Harry Huskey of NBS
  • 1959 – General Electric Corporation delivered its Electronic Recording Machine Accounting (ERMA) computing system to the Bank of America in California; based on a design by SRI, the ERMA system employed Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) as the means to capture data from the checks and introduced automation in banking that continued with ATM machines in 1974

transistor, from Smithsonian NMAH

“First transistor (model), December 1947. Constructed by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley at Bell Laboratories,” from Smithsonian NMAH

Regency transistor radio 1954 (TL), Zenith transistor hearing aid 1952, from Smithsonian NMAH

Regency transistor radio 1954, from Smithsonian NMAH

Philco and Emerson transistor radios, from Smithsonian NMAH

transistor radios, from Smithsonian NMAH

transistor radios, from Smithsonian NMAH

Maico hearing aid before and after transistors, fromFortune 1953/03

Morton, Shockley, White who developed transistor, fromFortune 1953/03

RCA transistor ad, from Fortune1953/03

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