The Big Three Computing Innovations

Date and Time

Wednesday, May 8 5:00pm — 7:00pm


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Event Description

Co-Hosted by System Source Museum of Hunt Valley, MD; Mike Jones - Zoom Master

Theme of Event...


  • Looking Beyond the Famous Computer Successes
  • Historical Significance of an Apparently Failed Project
  • Were They Ahead of their Time?
  • Rethinking Failure in Computer Heritage


Introduction by Dr. Thomas Haigh, co-author of "A New History of Modern Computing" Purchase book here:

Did you know that Philly is the "Foundry of Modern Computing?" Join us for this exciting event, including a deep dive into the technologies that launched the "Computer Age" right here in the Delaware Valley. This event provides a unique opportunity to engage with the speakers in a Q&A following the presentation by experts in the field.  Chat with the masons of the computer generation who laid down the original building blocks in the birthplace of electronic computing.

Three (3) Big Computer Technologies are Discussed

1) RCA Selectron of Lancaster PA

The Selectron was an early form of digital computer memory - 1943; The first step in "storage" 1943-49


Bob Roswell, CEO of System Source Computer Museum

Charles Osborne of

Robert Gillespie consummate Tube Collector


2) Philco Transac - Philco of Philadelphia

Philco produced the world's fastest all-transistor computer the Transac S-2000, in 1958.


Paul Kyzivat (Philco computers- Transac, 212)

Bill Mensch- Philco and its computer, semiconductor and transistor past

Philco CXPQ at David Taylor Model Basin, US Navy


3) ORDVAC to ILLIAC - For Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland

The University of Illinois Tie with Aberdeen. Ordvac to Illiac Series

For the University of Illinois. All 4 are "one off" machines. 1964

Discussion of Illiac Suite for String Quartet- First score composed by a computer.

Built in Paoli, PA (Illiac IV)


Daniel Atkins III, University of Michigan, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Illiac I, II and III

John Day, Professor at Boston University, developer of early operating systems, experienced in Illiac IV, Arpanet and Internet

Gary Feierbach (Illiac IV)

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