Columbia University Computing History   

The IBM 2741 Terminal

IBM 2741 terminal
IBM 2741 terminal
(NEED BETTER PHOTO) (here's one at IBM)

The IBM 2741 was a Selectric typewriter embedded in a small-desk-size cabinet crammed with electronics and wire bundles, communicating at 134.5 bits per second, half duplex. When it was the computer's turn to transmit, it physically locked the keyboard. The print element (not visible in this photo) resembled a golf ball, and was replaceable with other Selectric balls -- italics, APL, and so on. Date: About 1965.

Here's a photo from Steve Bellovin of a 2741 at Columbia in the early 1970s. You can tell it's a 2741 and not just a regular Selectric typewriter on a desk because it's embedded in the desk, not sitting on top of it with space underneath:
IBM 2741 at Columbia We had a 2741 at my CU Engineering School job in the 1960s. At some point it stopped working and an IBM customer engineer was called. He took the desk apart and, though you wouldn't suspect it from the photo above, the whole desk was full of electronics.

Columbia University Computing History Frank da Cruz / This page created: January 2001 Last update: 31 March 2021