The IBM 607 Electronic Calculating Punch


Photo: From US Army Ballistics Research Lab Report No. 1115, March 1961.

The IBM Type 607 Electronic Calculating Punch, 1953. The photo shows, from left to right, the Type 942 Electronic Storage Unit (memory), the Type 529 Card Reader/Punch, and the 607 itself. The 607 performed addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on data read from its card reader, punching the results on the input cards themselves, or on subsequent cards, according to instructions from its plugboard program, using vacuum-tube logic. Speed: 100 cards per minute. Weight: slightly over 2 tons. Floor space: 36 square feet. Heat load: 26,000 BTU. Various small amounts of memory capacity could be purchased; typical memory sizes would be 14, 37, or 146 digits. Here's a description of this machine from the BRL report cited above:

The IBM 607 Electronic Calculator is designed for use by business and industry. Because of its expanded capacity, the overwhelming majority of business calculations requiring multiple machine operations are performed and checked in a single operation. It is capable of performing and checking 14,000 computing operations a minute.

The memory capacity of the 607 makes it possible to use intermediate calculated results as well as original data in solving a problem. Other necessary information not punched in cards, such as tax percentages, discount rates, and overtime factors, may be entered as required.

Thus this was essentially a 604 with memory. The 607 was to be followed in 1957 by a transistorized 608 model, the first all solid-state computing machine commercially marketed.

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Most recent update: Wed Jun 9 15:44:28 2004


Frank da Cruz / fdc@columbia.edu / Columbia University Computing History