From the Historical Collections & Archives:

Fifty-seven years ago, during the first week of October 1962, the first electronic computer was installed on the Health Sciences Campus. In an article in the December 1962 Foundation and Alumni News, the IMB 1620 was to be used for scientific and administrative purposes. From the article: “Aside from speed, a computer is different from a calculator in that it can make decisions.”

IMB-1620-1
The IMB 1620 was the first electronic computer used by the Augusta University Health Sciences Campus in 1962.

According to the IBM Archives, the 1620 was a general-purpose stored-program data processing system. After the installation of the IMB 1620 in 1962, the Medical College of Georgia soon began offering five class hours on basic computer principles in its graduate course on instrumentation and a one-month elective computer science course to third- and fourth-year medical students (p. 19, Foundation and Alumni News, December 1962).

It was not a supercomputer nor was it the most powerful computer in 1962, but the IMB 1620 was the first computer on the Health Sciences Campus. In comparison to today’s computers, it was big in size but probably slower in computation and limited in function. However it was the first computer on this campus and deserves its spotlight in history. At some point, an IMB 360 was acquired and used on campus.

IMB-360
The IMB 360 used on the Augusta University Health Sciences Campus in the late 1960s to 1970s.

Be sure to read the Foundation and Alumni News article in the above link. More images, including the IMB 360, can be seen in the Hospital Scenes item record in Scholarly Commons; click on “View more files”.

    -Renée Sharrock, Curator

From the Special Collections & Institutional Archives:

The photograph I’ve chosen for this month’s post is taken from our Loose Photograph Collection (LPS 001), which is comprised of photos related to the history of Augusta during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One section of the collection deals exclusively with mills and factories. Since Reese Library’s Special Collections & Institutional Archives is currently in the process of creating an exhibit on Augusta factories to celebrate Georgia Archives Month in October, factories in Augusta will be my focus for this month’s photographic record and next month’s archival record.

This month’s photograph is a portrait by photographer Lewis Hanes of a group of young workers at Enterprise Mill in Augusta, Georgia. The photograph appears to have been taken in the late nineteenth century. Owing, in part, to the lack of strict labor laws at the time, some children, as seen in these photos, would make up the workforce at places like Enterprise Mill.

Written on the back of the photograph: “Lewis Hines portrait of a mill factory with a group of young workers at the Enterprise Mill in Augusta. The small boy in the bottom row center has been working in the mill for four years at the time of the picture (courtesy of Hargrett Library, University of Georgia).”

Enterprise Mill, located along the Augusta Canal, was opened as a flour mill in 1848 although the bulk of what is today the Enterprise Mill building was built in 1877. The Graniteville Company acquired the mill in 1923 and it remained in operation until 1983. It then underwent a massive renovation during the 1990s, during which the building was converted to the apartments and office spaces we see today. Enterprise Mill stands as one of the finest examples of Augusta’s late twentieth-century renaissance, the beginning of a movement which is still being felt today, all across the CSRA.

Augusta’s early history is dominated by mills and factories. Both its early and current economic achievements were made possible by these buildings which, at first, supported the production of things like cotton or tobacco, but which now, in a new form, support various tourism initiatives.

I encourage anyone interested in the history of these buildings and the industries which they’ve supported over the years to come check out our exhibit for Georgia Archives month in October. Read on next month for another glimpse into the history of Augusta’s mills and factories.

-Maranda Christy, Special Collections Assistant

About the Heritage Unit: The University Libraries have a department devoted to the preservation and archival keeping of the campus’ unique histories. The Historical Collections & Archives (HCA) is located on the 2nd floor of the Greenblatt Library on the Health Sciences campus. Special Collections & Institutional Archives is located on the 3rd floor of the Reese Library on the Summerville campus.