Electrologica

Electrologica building in Rijswijk

The Electrologica building in Rijswijk.

In the days computing machines became more commercial objects, the Mathematical Center decided to split off the building process of computing machines[1]. A new company, Electrologica, was born in 1958, because there was no reason to continue research in building computing machines. In the early years, Electrologica was strongly connected with the Mathematical Center. After a couple of years, in 1965, the Electrologica N.V. company moved from Amsterdam to Rijswijk, nearby The Hague, where the Dutch Prince Bernhard opened the new building.

Bernhard opening Electrologica building

Prince Bernhard opening the new Electrologica building.

Projects

After a couple of years, the Electrologica N.V. company became more independent. Electrologica built several machines, most notably:

  • Electrologica X1: this was a new machine which was usable for general computing work. This machine was build in cooperation with the Mathematical Center. During this period, most of the "computing girls" left the Mathematical Center, either because of marriage or because the computing department they worked at closed its doors.
  • Electrologica X8: this machine was announced in 1963, during the years Electrologica became more independent. The X8 is a lot faster than the X1 and covers some new inventions. Some stripped variants of the X8, the X2 to X5, never became a success.

The first commercial and professional computing machines building company in the Netherlands, Electrologica N.V., only survived until 1968, because of the hard international competition.

Last Rites

After a successful period of nearby 10 years in building advanced and high quality computing machines, the Electrologica company went bankrupt in 1968, because of the strong competition of companies with a bigger sales markets and a good reputations, like IBM. Before the bankrupt, Electrologica N.V. tried to find a new partner to cover the strong competition and rising costs in the market of computing machines. In 1968, Philips took over the Electrologica company, which had a debt of 10 million Dutch guilders. After Philips bought Electrologica, it never became as successful as before[2].

Currently "Stichting Electrologica" (translated: Electrologica Foundation) preserves what is left of Electrologica N.V. They have extensive documentation, literature and software in their archives, which they lend out to museums or other organizations. Their website, www.electrologica.nl, holds some of the historical information.


References

  1. Nijs, G. de , Opkomst en ondergang van Electrologica, , Amsterdam, Amsterdam University, pp. 7, 07/2003.
  2. Stichting Electrologica , Stichting Electrologica, , 2006  .
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