Powers-Samas & ICT Documentation

John Howard wrote the following to us in January 2013:

"My late sister-in-law Mrs Audrey Williams neé Summerell was involved in computerised accounting from the early 1950s.

She was part of the team that brought Power-Samas equipment into her company Helena Rubinstein (HR) in Grafton Street, London 1955. The new system apparently 'went live' on 1st July 1955.She then became the manager of the "Power Samas Room", managing a staff of around fifty machine operators.

In 1963, Mrs Williams was part of the team that moved the company across from Power-Samas to ICT at HR's new facility at Molesey. She then managed that installation until (I believe) HR decided to out-source its accounting.

Among her effects are several folders of documents which we wondered whether might be of interest to your museum. These include (in approximate date order):

-An illustrated Operators Manual for the "Power-Samas Tabulator for 36 and 40-column cards"
-HR's operating procedures for the Power-Samas equipment.

-The fully costed, illustrated proposal and specification dated 1st October 1963 for the new ICT data processing system - centred on an ICT 1004 Data Processor - plus a range of peripherals

-Various documents and flow charts and punch cards describing the ITC 'process'
-A copy of "ICT Data Processing Journal No 28" (undated, but probably about 1965). One article of particular interest to me (as an EMI Electronics Ltd employeein the early 1960s) concerns the (im)famous ICT 1900 installation at BMC Longbridge.

This is a superb collection of documentation and personal notes from employment within Powers-Samas and ICT from the early 1950's to the late 1960's and includes:

-Original Powers-Samas invoicing and statistical routines for the Helena Rubinstein organisation.
-Notes on system for dental practices
-Notes and punch cards for sales ledger & payroll for the Tabulators fot The Welcome Foundation.
-Illustrated Operator's Manual for the Powers-Samas 36 & 40 column card Tabulator.
-Helena Rubinstein Christmas price list for 1957.
-ICT Data Processing Journal No 28 June 1966.
-ICT Proposal & Specification for the installation of ICT Data Processing Equipment dated 1st October 1963.
-ICT illustrated Promotional Leaflets for 80 column punched card data processing - See ICT Manual section

Just for your background information, having delved a little deeper, I can confirm that Helena Rubinstein transferred its data processing activities to "Messrs Applied Computer Techniques Limited" on 31st May 1972, at which point Mrs Williams was declared redundant. She then moved on to the Dental Estimates Board in Eastbourne. (John Howard)

We are very pleased to have this important donation from John Howard.

Date : 1950

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH28274. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

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