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Icons of Progress

IBM 603

The First Commercial Electronic Calculator

Determined to keep IBM at the forefront of technological innovation, Thomas Watson Jr. sought to create an electronic calculator. The IBM 603 and 604 drew on breakthroughs in vacuum tube technology to perform calculations far more rapidly than the electromechanical devices in use at the time. More convenient for business than the 51-foot length of the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), the 603 and 604 performed calculations instantaneously, moving industry into the electronic age.