Motherboard (Was: The Burroughs B5900 and E-Mode

Rod Smallwood rodsmallwood52 at
Thu Oct 15 12:36:31 CDT 2015

I re-read  the artical and backplane is what he called it. At least he 
called the wirewrap version that.
I went back to my engineer days and tried to think what I would have 
called it.

Bus board or main interconnect is all I can  think of.


On 15/10/2015 18:18, Fred Cisin wrote:
>>> Wire wrapped motherboard and only one in existance ! Sheesh what a 
>>> risk.
> On Thu, 15 Oct 2015, Mark Linimon wrote:
>> minor quibble: I doubt they called it a "motherboard" in that time 
>> frame.
>> More likely "backplane".
> Wasn't the B5900 from 1980?
> "Motherboard" was around then, although Burroughs might not have used it.
> Burroughs might very well have been more inclined to call it "backplane".
> "The earliest known reference to motherboard, the main circuit board 
> of a personal computer, comes from a 1971 article in the British 
> journal Electrical and Electronics Abstracts, according to the Oxford 
> English Dictionary. The article refers to one daughterboard mounted 
> vertically on a computer size motherboard."
> from: 
> Google is not my friend today.  I'm encountering multiple variants of 
> "in the 1980s and 1990s, it became popular to put peripheral 
> controllers on the board", red and blue text overlayed on a full color 
> picture, "IBM PC was the first motherboard" (especially amusing since 
> it was similar form factor and basic layout as Apple][)
> S100 backplane was often called a "motherboard".
> By 1978, the Apple ][ main board was called a "motherboard" in the 
> industry, although IIRC, Apple preferred to call it a "logic board".
> IBM explicitly refused to call it a "motherboard" on the 5150. 
> According to an unreliable source (my late uncle working there at the 
> time), that was due to horrified shock at TV coverage of Black Panther 
> speeches at Merritt College in Oakland in the late 1960s (when I had 
> attended) and on, that had very extensive use of the word 
> MOTHER__!"  To avoid association,
> IBM refused to call it a "motherboard".
> In the late 1960s, Merritt College had a 1401 and a 1620.
> Some say that Peralta Community College District's decision to move 
> Merritt College up into the suburban hills in 1972? was in order to 
> pull the campus out from under the Panthers.  In early 1980s, Merritt 
> College had a DEC with a rarely working third party drive, and then 
> switched to 5150s in 1983.  I taught up on the hill for 20 years, 
> starting in 1983 (total of more than 30 years teaching in the PCCD 
> system)
> -- 
> Grumpy Ol' Fred             cisin at

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