IBM vacuum tubes

Paul McJones paul at
Wed Jun 17 15:10:37 CDT 2020

Not exactly on subject, but problems designing the IBM 604 Electronic Calculating Punch due to the use of existing vacuum tube designs is discussed in section 2.4 of:

Charles J.  Bashe, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, and Emerson W. Pugh
IBM’s Early Computers
The MIT Press, 1986

The book says Ralph Palmer set up a vacuum tube laboratory with the ability to manufacture small quantities of tubes. This helped them get credibility when they went to a vacuum tube manufacturer with a request for a design change to achieve the needed reliability for digital applications.

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