fbpx Computer History Museum | The Steampunk Explorer

Computer History Museum

1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043
Charles Babbage's Difference Engine

Charles Babbage's Difference Engine on Display at the Computer History Museum.

Photo credit: By Miwii69 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Computer History Museum was established in 1996 in Mountain View, California. It claims to house the largest and most significant collection of computing artifacts in the world (the Heinz Nixdorf Museum, Paderborn, Germany, has more items on display but a far smaller total collection). This includes many rare or one-of-a-kind objects such as a Cray-1 supercomputer as well as a Cray-2, Cray-3, the Utah teapot, the 1969 Neiman Marcus Kitchen Computer, an Apple I, and an example of the first generation of Google's racks of custom-designed web servers.

The collection comprises nearly 90,000 objects, photographs and films, as well as 4,000 feet of cataloged documentation and several hundred gigabytes of software.

The museum's 25,000-square-foot exhibit, "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing," covers the history of computing in 20 galleries, from the abacus to the Internet. The entire exhibition is also available online.

An operating Difference Engine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1840s and constructed by the Science Museum of London was on display until January 31, 2016. It had been on loan since 2008 from its owner, Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft executive.

This description includes material adapted from the Wikipedia article "Computer History Museum", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. It has been edited for brevity and to conform with the style of this website. The edited description is distributed under the terms of the same Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 license.