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

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