Invention of the IBM 701
The 1950’s were filled with many important events in the United States that demonstrated great advances in areas such as medicine, entertainment, and war. Some of the most memorable among these include the first organ transplant, the beginning of rock and roll music, and the start of the Korean War. However, the 1950’s were also an important time period for the advancement of technology. On April 29, 1952, Thomas Johnson Watson, Jr. announced that his company IBM, International Business Machines, was in the process of inventing "the most advanced, most flexible high-speed computer” that the world had seen yet. In 1953 this invention was released to the public as the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machines (IBM). The invention of this computer displays an importance in the history of technology because of its unique qualities, the significance for its usage, and its place in the economy. The IBM 701 was very unique for a variety of reasons, but it’s most distinctive quality was the fact that it was invented to help with the efforts of the Korean War. Thomas Johnson Watson Jr. wanted to give his part in the war efforts by inventing a “defense calculator” to help with the needed policing in Korea. Not only did the computer succeed in aiding the war, but it also succeeded commercially because it was also created for other general purposes (Bellis). As stated previously, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. stated that this computer was at the time “the most advanced, most flexible high-speed computer in the world" (IBM). These qualities made the invention of this computer very significant during this time period. The designed speed of this computer is described in minor detail as "microsecond circuits installed at critical locations ... to send electrical impulses from one unit to another at a speed faster than one-millionth of a second". In addition to its never-before-seen high speed capabilities, this computer was also an important invention...
References: Bellis, Mary. The Role of IBM in the History of Computers, About.com Inventors, 2013. Retrieved Online http://inventors.about.com/od/computersandinternet/a/IBM701.htm : (October 7, 2013)
Da Cruz, Frank. The IBM 701, Columbia.edu, May 13, 2006. Retrieved Online http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/701.html : (October 7, 2013)
IBM, IBM Archive: IBM 701, IBM.com, Retrieved Online: http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/701/701_intro.html : (October 7, 2013)
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