THE ROBERT RAGEN ARCHIVE
PART 1 - Friden 130 Development

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Robert Ragen wrote:
"130 with production supervisors" 
Left to Right: Pete McKenzie, Robert Ragen, Barbro Friden Alexander, Andy Anderson, Bill Poff and Elmer Stoltz (kneeling)

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**Important, Please Read***

Project Origins, in its ongoing exploration of the earliest history of personal transistorized computing, managed to track down and acquire a key historic part of the estate of Robert Ragen, the legendary inventor of the Friden 130. The Friden 130 is regarded by many as the first commercial transistorized desktop calculator. This particular estate portion consists of vast - previously unknown & unpublished - internal Friden Calculator Company documents and artifacts including prototypes, color slides, audio tapes of key internal discussions, and much more. 

Because of its size, the curator will scan/digitize and upload it piecemeal over time, starting with the first two hundred (200) color slide samples (see below) concerning the development of the Friden 130, going back to it's earliest flickerings in May 1961, and giving a near-complete photographic timeline throughout the entire process. Also, posted below are several hours of audio recordings of Robert Ragen and his Team concerning the Friden 130 and the Friden 150. The Friden 150 was the previously unknown printing version of the Friden 130 that led to working prototypes (see and listen below), but never went into mass production. There is a also a protracted behind the scenes discussion and debate over the use of integrated circuits in calculators among the production supervisors and engineers of the Friden 130, together with Friden's freshly minted new President (listen below).  

The next intermediate-term posting will be "Ragen's Robots" with a spoiler shown below, chronologically posted under December 1963.

Part 1 of the archive is presented in increasing chronological order from top down the page. Over time, the Project Origins Director and MoTET curator will add discussions concerning each artifact posted. 
 

The below never-before-seen and unpublished photographs (of the original color slides scanned by MoTET) are under copyright protection by MoTET to allow time for the museum to complete its artifact documentation process. Hence, the photographs are watermarked  and digitally signed as a kind reminder. When the documentation process is complete, the originals without the watermarks will be swapped in.



Robert Ragen's Photo Identification badges
(Social Security numbers have been covered by MoTET to protect privacy)

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MAY 1961
(below)


EDTC-1 Development
(Electronic Desk-Top Calculator )

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June 1961
(below)

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Continued EDTC-1 Development

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August 1961
(below)

 

SRI Display
(Stanford Research Institute)
Technology Purchased by Friden, from the SRI, for the EDTC-1 

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In the close-up the top and bottom row of numbers can be seen "0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9"




September 1961
(below)




Robert Ragen wrote: "First CRT Display" 
Logic, Oscilloscope numerical display, power supplies and keyboard all connected together 

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Close-up showing the first display. It reads:
9685
8566

 

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January 1962
(below)



Continued EDTC-1 Prototype Development

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February 1962
(below)



Robert Ragen's experimental display. Here it displays "Bob." 

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March 1962
(below)



Final EDTC-1 Development

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Patent for EDTC-1
Filed October 26, 1964
(2 years 7 months from prototype completion) 
Inventors: Robert A. Ragen & Carl E. Herendeen

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Delay Line Development for EDTC-2 and EDTC-3

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July 1962
(below)
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November 1962
(below)

EDTC-2 Development

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March 1963
(below)


Final EDTC-2 Development

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EDTC-2 in foreground, and
130 Breadboard (EDTC-3) at the back.


EDTC-3 Development
Robert Ragen wrote: "130 Breadboard"
and Console

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April 1963
(below)



Final EDTC-3 Development

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Anita Mk 7 in the foreground that was taken apart;
EDTC-1 in the back left with Dean Wackter, and in the back right the EDTC-2 with the full-keyboard and nixie displays.

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Patent for EDTC-3; Filed on October 29, 1963
(after 6 months from prototype completion) 
Inventor: Robert A Ragen




May 1963
(below)

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June 1963
(below)







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July 1963
(below)



Delay line development for the first Pre-Production Prototype

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Robert Ragen wrote: 
"130 Design Team with 130 without covers"
This is the first pre-production prototype. Dick Ahrens is at the far left. Second from the right is Carl Herendeen the logic designer  

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First Pre-Production Prototype
and closeup of display
(only the bottom row of numbers can barely be seen with the other three being to faint to see)

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"Covers" for the Pre-Production prototype

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First pre-production prototype with covers and closeups of the CRT display.
Only the bottom row of numbers (register) can be seen in the examples below showing the working display of the first pre-production prototype. The other three rows are of lower intensity and can either just barely be seen, or not at all. 

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"130 in final coverset"
First photograph taken by Robert Ragen of the first pre-production prototype, and still on the lab bench right after the coverset was first put on.
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October 1, 1963
(below)

 

REEL-TO-REEL TAPE DIGITIZED
Robert Ragen wrote:
"Mr. Samwell's Talk About Merger and Situation (Roundtable)"
PART-1
**NOTE: On computers you need to unmute the automatically muted browser tab you are using for this site



PART-2




November 1963
(below)



Robert Ragen wrote:
"Display in Final Covers"

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December 1963
(below)



130 in the "Final Covers." 

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Left: Carl Herendeen, the logic designer. The other two individuals are seen on the 130 Design Team photographs, but their names are currently unknown.  The person on the right typically always sits directly in front of the 130 and never wears a tie. He appears to be the prototype builder 

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Dick Ahrens with the first pre-production prototype


130 with Final Covers (below)

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Robert Ragen wrote: "130 boards - PC Cards." 






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Robert Ragen wrote: "130 PC Card."






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Robert Ragen wrote: "130 PC Card."






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Robert Ragen wrote: "130 Power Supply." 






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Robert Ragen wrote: "130 Circuit Board."






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"Ragen's Robots"
This is a 5-image sample from another large segment of this Robert Ragen archive that will be posted later. These are programmable Robots that Robert Ragen designed and developed to test electromechanical calculators. The lady at the bottom is Robert Ragen's Department Secretary, Shirley Backel (taken June 1962). 

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May 1964
(below)



Robert Ragen wrote:
"130 Production Supervisors"

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Andy Anderson (L) and Bill Poff (R)

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Andy Anderson

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Staged recreation of earlier EDTC-3 development by the principal engineers themselves
Photos taken by "Paul."

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Robert Ragen wrote: "STW and 130."  

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February 1965
(below)


Robert Ragen wrote:
"130 Calculator Display for Open House"

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REEL-TO-REEL TAPE DIGITIZED
Robert Ragen wrote:
Model 150 Talk given by Robert Ragen
During Open House
(New Engineering Build)
PART 1
**NOTE: On computers you need to unmute the automatically muted browser tab you are using for this site



PART 2




"My new office"
Robert Ragen's "new office." 

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May 1965
(below)

REEL-TO-REEL AUDIO TAPE DIGITIZED
Integrated Circuits Talk Given by Robert Ragen
PART 1

**NOTE: On computers you need to unmute the automatically muted browser tab you are using for this site

PART 2




PART 3




November 1965
(below)

Electronic Data Terminal for Wells Fargo

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February 1966
(below)



"152 Electronic Printing Calculator"
The Friden 152, shown below, was the printing version of the Friden 132. Robert Ragen wrote that it never went into production. There was also at Friden 150, which was the printing version of the Friden 130. 

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June 1967
(below)



More photos of the "Old Friden 152"

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February 1968
(below)
 

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March 16, 1968
(below)
 

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February 1969
(below)
 

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November 1969
(below)
 

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Robert Ragen's New Office

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SUPPLEMENTS
(below)



Supplement 1 - Miniature Friden 130 used as an intercom in Robert Ragen's office. 

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Supplement 2: Robert Ragen's cot where he slept at work when working late. 








Supplement 3 - "Charts" from December 1963

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Robert Ragen wrote: "Delay Line."






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Supplement 4 - "Charts" from July 1964

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Logic for EDTC-3
Robert Ragen wrote: "130 Logic." 






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Robert Ragen wrote: "130 Logic." 






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Robert Ragen wrote: "Delay Line Driver Patented"






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Supplement 4 - Keyboard Evolution
of the Prototypes






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