I.B.M. System 3 computer system comprising, CPU unit, disc storage unit, printer, and miscellaneous items such as assembly drawings and a manual. Made by I. B. M. circa 1975.

The computer was used for accounts and scheduling by City of Camberwell, which donated it to the Museum in 1984.

One reason this computer system was acquired by the Museum is related to fashion; note the distinctive pink colour of all the units. This computer system is typical of the period around the 1970s when firms started to target the computing needs of small businesses, machines being designed to fit into an office environment rather than requiring a room of their own as did mainframes. Up to that time, people expected computers in neutral colours, for example, IBM machines were given neutral colours such as beige. Some people found the pink to be disconcerting.

Physical Description

Computer system comprising CPU unit, disc storage unit, printer, and miscellaneous items such as printed circuit boards, print-outs, installation instructions, assembly drawings, manual and spare parts. Disk Stoage Drive: Metal cabinet clad in orange, beige and grey, with ventilation grills. Processing Unit (CPU): Metal cabinet with control panel and ventilation grills, clad in beige and crimson metal. Printer:Cabinet finished in grey and crimson metal cladding with a transparentsliding door.


The IBM System 3 is intermediate in size and capacity between mainframe and minicomputers. The computing system was designed to look attractive in an office while having near to mainframe potential. For example it would allow time sharing) but not as much as a true mainframe, which also required a room of its own.

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