Chippewa Falls Museum visit

Lawrence Wilkinson ljw-cctech at ljw.me.uk
Sun Jun 19 18:00:23 CDT 2005


I managed to take some time off during my visit to Minneapolis to get to
Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology.  It was an easy 2-hour
drive, and the museum opens at 1pm on weekdays.  This trip had the air
of a pilgrimage for me, since I still have a Cray-1S architecture manual
I ordered from them c. 1981 and I've always wanted to see where they
came from.

Chippewa Falls is a tiny place, and I had no trouble finding the museum
(though the street it's on is currently closed off for work).  I only
had an hour or so there, as I had to get back to my flight later that
afternoon.

The museum director, Yvette Viets Flaten, is very enthusiastic about her
Cray exhibits.  It also turns out that her mother comes from
Northampton, not far from where I live (and Chippewa Falls also had a
show manufacturing industry, just like Northampton).

Complete CPUs they have there (AFAIK all except the X/MP are Cray
designs):
CDC 160A
CDC 1604
CDC 6500
CDC 7600
Cray 1
Cray X/MP
Cray 2
plus various other exhibits, including a ERA magnetic drum unit and
Seymour Cray's desk.  You can walk around them all, and in many cases
there are samples of the internal boards removed for closer viewing.

There are some videos on show, but I didn't have time for those.  I took
a few photos, but they haven't come out too well, so I suggest anyone
interested look at:
http://www.spikynorman.dsl.pipex.com/CrayWWWStuff/Cfaqmustop.html
http://csumc.wisc.edu/gallery/album74

It really is worth a visit, if only to see a collection of the fastest
machines of their time.  I think if you're travelling some distance you
might be able to ask nicely and visit out of hours.  I'm hoping to get
back there in a month or two for a better look.

One thing Yvette is after is a circular sliderule (as Cray apparently
used), does anyone here have one they could spare for a good cause?

There is a site with details at http://www.cfmit.org/
-- 
Lawrence Wilkinson                                 lawrence at ljw.me.uk
The IBM 360/30 page                       http://www.ljw.me.uk/ibm360



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