The Williams-Kilburn tube, the first RAM, is patented
11th December 1946
The Williams-Kilburn tube was the first high-speed, entirely electronic random-access memory device.
Invented by Frederick Williams and Tom Kilburn, the Williams-Kilburn tube was a modified cathode-ray tube, such as you might find in a TV set of the time. In the same way that the TV used an electron beam and vacuum tube to display a picture on a screen, the Williams-Kilburn tube displayed a continuously-refreshed grid of dots that could be used to store data.
The Williams-Kilburn tube was the primary memory for machines such as the IBM 701.
Williams and Kilburn applied for two British patents arising from their work on the Williams-Kilburn tube:
Related Items in the Collection: