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IBM 7090/94 in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963)

Group Captain Lionel Mandrake uses the IBM on the base and finds the last remaining radio in its 1403 printer from which discovers the Brigadier General's duplicity.

Importance: ***
Realism: ***
It probably should have been a SAGE system for authenticity, but that would not have been available at the time as the system was in active use then.

Visibility: *****




Year of feature (shown above)


This was, apparently, shot at IBM's London computer centre.
2017-07-26 13:23

colin pickup

I worked on the IBM 7090 from 1964 to 1973 at the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire. (BMEWS). It was a great machine and as a computer operator, I recall playing the song 'Anchors Aweigh' on the IBM 1403 printer which is shown in the movie 'Dr. Strangelove'.
2019-11-14 07:48

Mike C

At 16:25, as Mandrake is exiting the room with the IBM 1403, there is the right side of an IBM 1401 in the left of the frame. Therefore, I believe you should add "IBM 1401" to this list. Thank you.
2022-02-12 09:12

Paul Pierce

A 7000-series machine is completely plausible at an Air Force base at the time. The 7090 shown here is real and fully operational which goes to Kubrick's demand for realism. The printer on a 7090 is a 716, which was very slow. For that reason a typical 7090 installation also included a 1401 (with its 600 line per minute 1403 printer) so that the output from the 7090 could be printed quickly offline without using precious time on the big computer. So yes, the 1401 is equally plausible and should be added.
2022-02-14 01:45