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From Calculating Wheels to the Computer

Public Collection of Office and Computing Technology

Replicas of the first calculating machines from Schickardt und Leibniz from the 17th century introduce visitors to the world of computing machines. On the opposite side one sees a roughly carved construction made of wood and wire: the original of one of the earliest attempts to mechanize writing. Further milestones on display include the first industrially manufactured typewriter by Remington, the first German calculators from Glashütte, and Erika typewriters from Dresden.

The early history of the computer in the GDR is told by the “Zeiss-Rechenautomat 1,” a glass computer from 1959, the “D4a” developed at the TU Dresden and called the world’s first PC, mainframe and small computers from Robotron, analog computing systems, and a home-made computer again built with wood. One section is dedicated to Dresden’s development to a center of microelectronics. The section on robotics is currently being built up.