World’s First Hard Drive

IBM laboratory at 99 Notre Dame Street, San Jose, the birthplace of the world's first hard disk drive.

IBM laboratory at 99 Notre Dame Street, San Jose, the birthplace of the world’s first hard disk drive.

Walking in footsteps of IBM giants – very cool!  Sixty years ago, in 1952, IBM opened a small research lab in a small, non-descript building on a side street in downtown San Jose. Four years later, the work of the IBM team at 99 Notre Dame, led by Rey Johnson, resulted in the world’s first hard drive, revolutionizing computing and jump starting the storage industry.  Today 99 Notre Dame is a county court.  But the connection to its historic past is evident and celebrated. A plaque honoring that past on the sidewalk outside, and inside there’s a small but well done exhibit explaining the significance of the work that was done there. Interestingly, the current use of the structure means that in order to see the exhibit, visitors have to go through a metal detector – so you know the security there is top notch!

Early RAMAC prototype. Note the horizontal alignment of the disks.

Early RAMAC prototype. Note the horizontal alignment of the disks.

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The December 2012 theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ‘corporate history’, and Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist, will be sharing with us some of the highlights from IBM’s history.

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Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist

Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist

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