Taking a Look Inside the IBM 650

Alumni Memories from Les Blumberg

I returned to Rolla in 1964 to work on my MSEE. At the time I was on an educational leave from IBM the school had provided me with an assistantship, so I spent three years working on my degree. This gave me sufficient time to assist the department in acquiring an IBM 650 from IBM. I had asked IBM for a machine we could use at the school, though my thesis was in microwave theory not computers. After many phone calls IBM agreed and sent the EE Department the machine. We placed it in one of the class rooms and then spent a number of hours attempting to get the machine up and running.  This was a plug board machine with punch cards as its input. It was a challenge, especially since IBM did not provide all of the peripheral equipment.

This is a picture of an IBM 650 — not from the university — but I’ve included it here to show how the computer looked inside.

Les Blumberg
BSEE 1962
MSEE 1966


Interior view of an IBM 650 computer

Interior view of an IBM 650 computer