Robert Garner provided the following letter that was exchanged in the process of procuring the "German IBM 1401"
From: "Heinz Lenk"
Date: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:02:11 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Travel to Hamm
I drove yesterday to Hamm, north of Dortmund to meet with Mr. Schweinsberg senior.
Wonder how some people can stand driving 700km (and more) every Day on Germany's Autobahns. Now I'm sitting here with an electric pad on my back to realign my lowest intervertebral disk. Mr. Schweinsberg garage contains really heavy stuff.
I made around 50 pictures and hope they show enough details to alleviate your decision. As soon as the films are developed, I will send them to you. Question: What address should I send them to.
The 1401 is stored in a car garage which is flanked by other garages on both sides. The ceiling didn't show water stains so the roof is tight. There is no air conditioning, so the 1401 and its periphery had to endure summer and winter climate changes of many years. The dusts in the cabinets are still the same as when the 1401 was removed from duty.
In general all silvery coatings of contacts are oxydized by sulpureous air, but cold contacts lock like new.
BTW: Mr. Schweinsberg heartily recommends to start cleaning the cards AFTER it was set up running again. And then clean only few parts and try if all is still running.
Film 1, Picture #
00A. Mr. Schweinsberg senior, an astonishing agile old man. I asked him later if, if you pay the ship fare (his physician doesn't allow travel by air), he would be willing to resurrect the 1401 and all it's periphery. He told me he would enjoy it very much to apply his old skill again. 0A. IBM 077 Mixer / Schalttafel 1A. IBM 360/30 Core 32k memory cardboard box 2A. " " " unpacked view from wrap side 3A. " " " unpacked view, core memory 4A. Tape Reels, ec. Autocoder w/o IOCS 5A. IBM 129 Card Puncher / Interpreter / Verify 6A. " " Serial number plate (need magnifier) & scrap no bumps, no rust, 7A. Some of the boxes full of SMS spare cards (enough to build an other 1401). Some boxes became moist when the cellar, in which they where stored, suffered a water brake in. The golden contact pads of the SMS-cards still lock like new. 8A. Tektonix 535A with probes for the purist maintenance guy. 9A. Technical descriptions, most of them in German 10A. Schematics (ALDs) and maintenance 11A. mechanical spare parts (wire relays, originally packed, wire contact comb) 12A. original tooth belts (red box), Program cards, Programmer for printer control ribbon on Printer paper trolley 13A. Schüttelrutsche (shaking slide), Papierwagen (paper trolley parts) 14A. Spare parts for tape storage. Tool to vulcanize new rubber onto capstan rolls, bottom right. Mr. Schweinsberger once devised this tool which works. Connectors, cables, program cards 15A. 6 of 12 boxes filled with various test programs on punched cards. 16A. Printer character chains (overexposed?) 17A. 5 Printer character chains with cleaning bath tub 18A. IBM 1402 Card Read / Punch, front doors open 19A. " front doors closed with card guide 20A. " left view, some rust 21A. " back side, doors open 22A. " right side interior 23A. " Serial number plate some few parts where rusty where naked steel was exposed to fog. No bumps 24A. IBM 1401 front view. Beware the sealed connectors 25A. " main control panel 26A. " an other control panel 27A. " two card racks open, wrap side view 28A. " rack bottom left open, wrap side view 29A. " sealed connectors 30A. " control panel interiours 31A. " serial number plate (use magnifier) 32A " card rack open, left bottom 33A " Betriebsstundenzähler 34A " rear side (with flash) Ancient dust lingers inside. No bumps, no rust. 35A. Mr. Schweinsberg's garage, home of the IBM1401 family. All garages are separated by walls.
Film 2, Picture #
0. Mr. Schweinsberger's neighbor's garage, 1. IBM 1403 Printer. Main cover open 2. " " Papar tractor, chain color ribbon 3. " " Serial number plate 4. " " back side 5. " " mechanic on left side One small bumps on left cover (1), some rust at bare steel. 6. IBM 729 Magnetic Tape driver Tester (extremely rare species) with "DIAGNOSE FUNCTION TEST" manual 7. IBM 1401 TAN9, Tape Adapter Unit rack, opened 8. IBM 1401 Power Buck / Bust Unit to simulate power fluctuations 9. Maintenance trolley with documentation, ALDs 10. IBM 1406 front view 11. " front view, cover removed 12. " Serial number plate 13. " wiring 14. " back side, cover removed Additional Storage. No Bumps, no rust 15. IBM 729 Magnetic Tape Drive, One of five. 16. " front view internals 17. " back side internals 18. " card rack No Bumps, some light rust. Maintenance documentation, ALDs 19. IBM 077 Collator. Only gears, relays and switches! Well greased. No bumps, almost no rust after ca. 50 years. Serial number plate 20. Deep inside the dark Garage three and one originally packed IBM 729 Magnetic Tape Drive 21. IBM 077 Collator gears 22. " " back interior, relays and spare parts 23. " " one of many lubricators 24. " " more gears and relays 25. IBM 083 Sorter. right side interior and Mr. Schweinsberger a little bit exhausted. 26. " front view (almost) Maintenance documentation. No bumps, Some mechanical parts like axles are covered with brown silk like rust. Obviously these parts where never plated with nickel or chrome. 28. My house, still under construction, but thanks to Hittachi, now I have the time to do all things planed
Re. Just a few questions
1. The garages are separated by wall. Because no window or vent opening is there, no car exhaust could enter 2. The paints are in good condition. I didn't see any peeling 3. Yes, the corroded silvery contacts are in the punched card handling equipment. ALL PCB cards have cold contacts (when I was young, I bought some as scrap to dissect them)