Printer Chain

Mus.Cat. NEWUC:2003.21 Mnfctr: IBM Date: 1967 Ser. No: 834564 Model: -
Comp: Printer Chain Length: 448 mm Width: 83 mm Depth: 25 mm Weight: 366 g

Printer Chain.

This is the print chain in its storage container.
It is not complete, missing 16 of its full complement of 120 print segments, each segment was two characters.

The complete chain was composed of five 48-character sections (24 segments).

Printer Chain.

This is a close-up of the print chain.
Each print segment was fixed to a flexible metal band composed of about 40 tiny steel wires,
or one wrapped 40 times round.

Chain bits.

Each print segment consisted of four bits of metal:
the print element itself; the bar that clamped it to the print band; and two tiny bolts.

This print band was broken, but it is fortuitous,
in that we can see the steel wires giving the flexible band its strength.

Chain bits.

You needed a special tool to undo the bolts clamping the print element to the flexible band.
The museum does not have one, but again fortuitously, one of the bolts of a print element had sheared,
and the other bolt undid with a jammed tiny screw driver.

The bolt is 4mm long and the threaded part 1mm diameter.

You can see the bit of the sheared bolt in the bar.

So the whole print chain consisted of the flexible steel band and 480 cast machined metal components.
You can just imagine the cost of it. Look at the print band that comes later, just one piece of metal.

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