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IBM 704: 1954

IBM 704: 1954

This network of black magnetic beads, smaller than a postage stamp, is one of a number of input-output "memory" units in the new "704" electronic calculator built by International Business Machines. This particular "memory" unit of the 704 instantaneously strips all information off a slow-moving punch card, stores the data momentarily in the form of magnetic charges, and passes along the individual items, one at a time, to a lightning-fast calculating section, which can handle around 10 million operations an hour, theoretically replacing 3,000 hand-operated adding machines. Orders are in for over thirty 704's, which I.B.M. will rent at some $20,000 a month each. View full size. Photo by Ezra Stoller.

Steichen Autochromes

Autochrome portrait of a young woman thought to be Charlotte Spaulding, taken around 1908 by Edward Steichen. Made with a complex process using three hues of dyed potato starch, autochromes were glass positives viewed with a projector or mounted on a light box. Credit: George Eastman House Collection.

TWO EXAMPLES of early color photography by none other than Edward Steichen have come to light recently, the New York Times reports: "Almost as intriguing as the pictures themselves is the story of how they recently made their way from a house in Buffalo, where they apparently sat unseen for decades, to the collection of the George Eastman House in Rochester, one of the world’s leading photography museums, where they will be exhibited for the first time this fall."

High Voltage: 1942

High Voltage: 1942

June 1942. Working on power transmission and utility lines near the TVA hydro- electric plant at Chickamauga Dam or Douglas Dam, Tennessee. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer, Office of War Information.

 

Wired: 1910

Wired: 1910

Electricity Class at St. George's Evening Trade School, New York, circa 1910. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

Broadband Switchboard: 1954

Broadband Switchboard: 1954

August 1954. Eight-panel patching bay at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, for assignment of any of eight telecine film chains (slide or movie projector and TV camera) to any of several control rooms, for insertion of film content into video feed. One television camera is used with each of three Eastman 16 mm projectors, three RCA 35 mm projectors and two Gray "Telop" projectors. Multipin cable plugs contain two audio and video outputs, start-stop circuits and intercom and monitoring circuits. View full size. Ektachrome by Peter Samerjan.

Hi-Fi Boombox: 1954

Hi-Fi Boombox: 1954

December 1954. "A novel idea for the audiophile who likes his music wherever he is. A household teacart can be used as a mobile carrier for any combination of audio gear." View full size. Ektachrome by Ken Schmid Studio. Components: Regency HF-150 high fidelity amplifier, Webcor "Diskchanger," Jensen "Duette" reproducer. More from the original press release from Regency Inc.: "Most homemakers are used to wheeling their cleaning equipment with them from room to room -- why not do the same for the entertainment unit that helps to

 

Carina Nebula: 5500 BC

Carina Nebula: 5500 BC

Just in from NASA, a spectacular image assembled from 48 frames taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Carina Nebula 7500 light-years away, which means we are seeing these stars as they were in 5500 BC — making this the oldest picture on Shorpy so far. The bright star at left is Eta Carinae, which can be seen throwing off two enormous lobes of gas prior to exploding — possibly in the next few thousand years, maybe tomorrow — as a titanic supernova. We're offering this as a JG fine art print, made using NASA's 480mb master file.

 

Don't Touch That Dial: 1921

Don't Touch That Dial: 1921

November 10, 1921. "Radio switchboard" somewhere in the vicinity of New York City. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

Hello?

Hello?

Telephone company switchboard, probably 1920s. Exact location unknown, but somewhere in British Mandate Palestine. Matson Photo Service. View full size.

 

Is the Caller There?

Is the Caller There?

Early 20th-century telephone switchboard in British-Mandate Palestine. View full size. American Colony Photo Department. Location not specified although sign in background lists police and ambulance numbers "in Jerusalem."

 

Number, Please

Number, Please

Switchboard operators in 1930s or 1940s British-Mandate Palestine, a few years after the other photo (the chairs look a little less like torture devices). Matson Photo Service. View full size.

 

Watch Your Fingers

Watch Your Fingers

Machine used in mine that digs the coal and loads it on the car. With it three men can do the work of 50 in the old way. Yet they use boys to drive and trap. Gary, West Virginia. September 1908. View full size.

 
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