Watson in office

IBM 355 Disk Storage (close up)

An air traffic controller is reflected in the cover of the IBM 355 Disk Storage unit, part of an IBM RAMAC 650 data processing system at the Indianapolis air route traffic control center in November 1959 to aid the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency in keeping tabs on an increasing volume of daily flights. The disks held a reservoir of data, including geographical locations of airways and beacons, reference tables and a complete record of flight plans. The information was constantly updated and instantly available for automatic computations and for reference by controllers. Capacity of the disk memory was six million digits.