JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 6
The State of the Art in Advanced Computing, 1965
Six-Foot-Long Blueprint for the Installation of an UNIVAC 490 at the UNIVAC Headquarters in Herkimer, NY
This is a rare blueprint for the layout of the new UNIVAC 490 computer for installation at the UNIVAC Utica (NY) headquarters. What makes this blueprint particularly interesting is that it gives an overview for the placement of the entire 490 system. The central attractive feature of this blueprint is the church-like feel of the placement of the components, with the “control console” being roughly in the center of the plan. The operator would sit at the central console facing about 25 feet worth of Uniservos, with the 490 itself located 18 feet away on the left; various drums (about 20 feet worth) were located behind the CC as were various processors and the 1004 (card) punch. The whole plan seems to incorporate something like an 18x40 foot space, *plus* five exterior rooms (manager, confernece, tape storage, tab room, and (my favorite, service and repair).
This fills me with memories of Victorian steam whistle
designs (lovely, ornate) and water-driven mills in
Lowell (long and narrow, utilizing river bank and available sunlight). It is a document that speaks of its time, elegantly portraying the size and scope of one of the leading computers of the day and its placement at one of its maker’s principal headquarters.
This is a 6-foot x 2-foot blueprint of the floor plan of the UNIVAC Illion (NY) headquarter’s central computing section, and seems to have been completed ca. 1965.
The blueprint seems to indicate that this floor of the building was 220-feet long and 75-feet wide (or so). The central part—taking up about 1200 square feet or a 46x30 feet section--this floor is occupied by the (undesignated) computer. There 12 sections of the machine:
High spped printer (s) (being one at each end); Tape Unit; CSO: CSPO; Tape Uniservo; Control Unit; Pandex control; Pandex drum (x2); Tape synchronizer; and lastly the (large) Central Processor.
Filling out the rest of the floor are the other encumbrances of The Office of the mid-1960’s. It is interesting to note that there is a very significant-looking office that is directly next to the computer area. It seems that there were a number of dozens of people working in this space.