The Large Scale Systems Museum (“LSSM”) is a public museum in New Kensington, PA (just outside Pittsburgh) that showcases the history of computing and information processing technology. “Large Scale” means our primary focus is on minicomputers, mainframes, and supercomputers, but we have broad coverage of nearly all areas of computing, large and small, dating back to the 1950s.
LSSM is a real physical museum that you can visit, not an “online” or “virtual” museum. We are a living museum, with computer systems restored, configured, and operable for demonstrations, education, research, or “re-living the old days”. Our staff of volunteers comprises a number of engineers and technicians who are highly experienced with these systems, painstakingly restoring and maintaining them in like-new condition.
If this sounds odd to you, think of an antique car collector with an old Corvette or a Model-T Ford. But cars only revolutionized transportation, while computers have revolutionized everything, including cars! Every aspect of our lives involves computers in some way.
Even in our ubiquitous mobile phones, from the latest smartphones to the humble flip-phone. There's at least one computer inside each one, making everything work. Every aspect of its operation, from recognizing button presses to identifying itself to cell towers, is controlled by a computer.
Our bank accounts, phone calls, car maintenance, baby pictures, all handled by computers to make our day to day lives easier. Are you old enough to remember when it took days or weeks for one doctor to receive your medical records from another? Now it takes seconds. Remember when we had to take checks to the bank to deposit them? Not anymore, and all of this great functionality that depend upon came from somewhere.
The history of computing is rich and full of great stories, breakthroughs, successes, failures, and strong personalities, all culminating in the device that you're reading this website on right now. Everything we have today came from somewhere, and we teach that history here at LSSM. From aesthetics to internals to real-world uses and operation, we preserve it all.