Columbia University Computing History
The IBM 285
The IBM Type 285
The IBM Type 285 Tabulator.
Numeric Printing Tabulator, 1933, used in the Thomas J. Watson Astronomical Computing Bureau
at Columbia University in the 1930s and 40s, in the Pupin Hall
attic and transferred to Watson Lab
in 1946. The card feed is at the top left
and the card stacker below it a center left. The print unit is at the
extreme right. Control switches are visible in the upper center, and above
them the counter wheels of five accumulators. The 285 printed numeric data
only and processed up to 150 cards per minute. The more expensive 405
(introduced 1934) could also print alphabetics.
These were popular and long-lived models, IBM's biggest moneymakers until
after World War II, and helped the new Social Security Administration
automate its record keeping. The relatively simple control panel
is shown below.
IBM 285 with operator
IBM 285 plugboard
Also see IBM Tabulators and Accounting Machines.
Created: 2 May 2005.
Sun Dec 16 11:13:19 2018