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Encyclopedia > IBM 1403

The IBM 1403 Printer was introduced as part of the IBM 1401 computer in 1959, but had an especially long life in the IBM product line. The original model could print 600 lines of text per minute. The standard model had 100 print positions. An additional 32 positions were available as an option. A print chain with five copies of the character set spun horizontally in front of the ribbon and paper and hammers struck the paper from behind at exactly the right moment to print a character as it went by. The IBM 1401 was a variable wordlength decimal computer that was announced by IBM on October 5, 1959 and marketed as an inexpensive Business Computer. It was withdrawn on February 8, 1971. ... A computer is a machine capable of undergoing complex calculations. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) NYSE: IBM (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, NY, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, infrastructure services and consulting services. ...

Photograph of an IBM 1403 printer on display at the Computer History Museum.
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Photograph of an IBM 1403 printer on display at the Computer History Museum.

The 1403 could print 48 different characters: 26 letters, 10 digits, and 12 special characters: &, . - $ * / % # @ plus a box-like character called a "lozenge," and a not equal (≠) sign. Special chains could be ordered for other character sets. Scientific users would add ( ) and + in place of the percent, lozenge and ampersand. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 205 KB)IBM 1403 chain printer - Photograph taken by RaD Man at the Computer History Museum. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 205 KB)IBM 1403 chain printer - Photograph taken by RaD Man at the Computer History Museum. ... The Computer History Museum in Mountain View. ... A pullover with a lozenge pattern A lozenge is a parallelogram which usually has two corners pointing up and down that are farther apart than the corners pointing sideways. ...


A long roll ink ribbon was positioned between the print chain and the paper. The roll came in two parts, the feeder roll and take-up roll. The roll was constantly wound and rewound during printing.


Like most IBM printers of the era, the 1403 used fan-folded paper with perforated edges for pin wheel feeding. A paper tape loop controlled rapid paper movement to the top of the next page. This was used to control the form length so that paper of various sizes could be used. A roll of punched tape Punched tape is an old-fashioned form of data storage, consisting of a long strip of paper in which holes are punched to store data. ...


An IBM 1403 printer played a cameo role in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 movie Doctor Strangelove, serving as a hiding place for a portable radio. Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was a Jewish American film director and producer who is widely considered to have been one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers of the late 20th century. ... For the Nintendo 64 emulator, see 1964 (Emulator). ... For the hit 1987 single by Depeche Mode, see the album Music for the Masses Film poster for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a 1964 satirical film directed by Stanley Kubrick. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
The IBM 1403 Printer (818 words)
The IBM 1403 printer was introduced in October 1959 with the
As IBM says on its history site, "the 1403 printer -- four times faster than any competitor -- launched the era of high-speed and high volume printing, and was not surpassed for print quality until the advent of laser printing technology in the 1970s.
Also inside the 1403 near the bottom was a pint-sized tin can with 3 or 4 plastic hoses that collected any oil that leaked from selected points in the machine.
IBM Archives: 1401 Data Processing System (1292 words)
The IBM 1403 Printer is a completely new development providing maximum "thru-put" of forms and documents in printing data from punched cards and magnetic tape.
The 1403 prints by means of a scanning operation which compares characters on the chain with characters in storage designated to be printed.
The 1401 can also be linked to an IBM 1210 Model 4 Sorter-Reader for direct processing of paper documents imprinted with magnetic ink, providing banks with a system for mechanizing bank demand deposit accounting and account reconciliation, transit operations, installment and mortgage loan accounting and other banking functions.
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