A Computer Gets Delivered in 1957: Great Moments in Schlepping History


Photograph via Norfolk Record Office

Once upon a time, computers with less horsepower than your mobile phone, were big. Real big. How big? This big.

From the Norfolk Record Office comes a description of the photo you see above:

Norwich City Council’s first computer, being delivered to the City Treasurer’s Department in Bethel Street, Norwich in 1957. The City of Norwich, and its forward-thinking Treasurer, Mr A.J. Barnard, were pioneers in the application of computer technology to the work of UK local authorities and businesses. In 1953-4, Mr Barnard and his team began looking for an electronic system to handle its rates and payroll. They began discussions with Elliott Brothers of London in 1955, and the City Council ordered the first Elliott 405 computer from them in January 1956. It was delivered to City Hall in February 1957 and became operational in April 1957. The event was celebrated by a demonstration of the machine in front of the Lord Mayor of Norwich and the press on 3 April 1957.

For more vintage moments in computing, please enjoy some of the “relateds” below.

via Twisted Sifter

Related Content:

Watch the World’s Oldest Working Digital Computer — the 1951 Harwell Dekatron — Get Fired Up Again

A Short History of Romanian Computing: From 1961 to 1989

“They Were There” — Errol Morris Finally Directs a Film for IBM

The Internet Arcade Lets You Play 900 Vintage Video Games in Your Web Browser (Free)

Free Online Computer Science Courses

Harvard’s Free Computer Science Course Teaches You to Code in 12 Weeks

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.