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IBM 701

IBM's first computer. Introduced in 1952, the 701 was designed for scientific work and research, which later led to the development of the high-level FORTRAN language. Nineteen machines were built, a record volume for such a machine in that era. Its internal memory contained 2,048 36-bit words of electrostatic memory and 8,192 words of magnetic drum memory (see early memories). It used magnetic tapes for storage and was one of the first machines to use plastic-based tapes instead of metal tapes. See IBM 650 and IBM 1401.




IBM's First Computer
At General Electric's Aircraft Jet Engine Plant in Evendale, Ohio, this 1954 photo shows GE manager Herbert Grosch explaining the 701 to Ronald Reagan. Reagan was a TV personality for GE at the time. (Image courtesy of IBM.)






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