[SIGCIS-Members] Help Needed Identifying Computer Component

Guy Fedorkow guy.fedorkow at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 05:11:32 PDT 2015

hi Laine,
  I can't identify the exact machine, but it's likely that the photo is
of a plug board used to program accounting machines like the IBM 402. 
These machines would have been in use in the late 1940's or 1950's, and
would have been used to read punched cards and print business records.



On 9/28/2015 11:25 AM, Laine Nooney wrote:
> To my favorite cabal of computer historians:
> I've been contacted by a colleague of a colleague who is an art
> historian writing on the work of Chilean artist Guillermo Núñez
> <https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_N%C3%BA%C3%B1ez>. In the late
> 1970s, Núñez produced a seriograph (v. similar to a silkscreen)
> partially depicting what my colleague believes is a piece of computer
> technology in it. She is trying to identify what the image is of so
> she can write about it with a bit more specificity. 
> I'm providing a dropbox links to two image files, on of the full
> seriograph and one that is a close up.
> https://www.dropbox.com/sh/86iutdvvbkz2814/AAB8IdZ5IMGcK_h4gAiAGG2la?dl=0
> Núñez told the art historian that he used a photo that he had found of
> "one of those computers that takes up a whole room," then xeroxed it,
> then superimposed it over his own photograph and used those images to
> make the serigraph stencil. Thus the image is not very detailed, as
> its been processed through several kinds of media. It is also like
> that Núñez put put some pieces of string on the canvas when he
> printed, and then removed them, so in addition to any wires that may
> be in the original image, there are also imprints that resemble wires
> as well.
> Núñez made the prints in 1977-1979, so the images are from that time
> period or earlier. He sourced all kinds of images from different
> countries, usually from magazines and old books. There is no reason to
> believe the image or the technology represented in Chilean or South
> American. 
> Obviously, the thing looks like a breadboard. What I don't know is how
> common place something like this would have been in mid-century
> computer equipment, what its function might have been, etc. This is
> all well beyond my area of expertise. There's a bit of writing you can
> read on the board in the second image. 
> I welcome any comments or thoughts as replies to the group or
> individually, and I'll pass them on.
> Best,
> Laine
> -- 
> Laine Nooney
> www.lainenooney.com <http://www.lainenooney.com/>
> DM <http://dm.lmc.gatech.edu/> @ LMC <http://lmc.gatech.edu/> @ GT
> <http://www.gatech.edu/>
> Assistant Professor
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