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Icons of Progress
 

IBM 603

The First Commercial Electronic Calculator
 

IBM produced more than 5700 units of the 603 and 604 between 1946 and 1958. The launch of the 604 featured an advertising campaign designed to capture the imagination of the public. In the ads, electronic computing technology was transformative, positioned as a tool that would break barriers and help mankind reach new heights. The machines were quickly recognized as the standard of computing excellence for business.

Illustrating innovation

The 603 and 604 quickly became fixtures in any environment that required advanced computation. The machines were ubiquitous, leading to appearances in popular culture. In the comic series The Adventures of Tintin, two scientists work with a 604 to send Tintin, the main character of the comic series, to the moon.