An Album of LARC Images

For more information, see
The Remington Rand Univac LARC by Charles Cole
The Remington Rand Univac LARC by Norman Hardy

Figure 1: Brown and Teller at the LARC Console
This view shows Harold Brown, standing, and Edward Teller, seated, at the LARC Programmer's console. In the background, one can see parts of the Engineer's console. A great deal of debugging was carried on at this console.
Figure 2: The LARC Console
This shows the Programmer's console, including the Typewriter. This console was also known as the User's Console.
Figure 3: Fernbach, Brown, and Teller
From left to right, Drs. Sidney Fernbach, Harold Brown, and Edward Teller, are standing in front of the programmer's console. In the background is the LARC Engineering Console where all computer and I/O operations could be observed and analyzed.
Figure 4: The Univac Consoles
This is Bob Garcia sitting at the Programmer's console of the UNIVAC LARC. To his right, is the Engineering console, at which one could interact with all I/O operations, and monitor the health of the entire machine. It was similar to the IBM 7617, only much more elaborate. In the background are the three LARC cabinets, eact some 30 feet long, where the memories were housed.
Figure 5: The Programmer's Console
This is a close up of the Programmer's console. The LARC used the Excess-3 Decimal number system, so the displays were produced by little projection units capable of showing a decimal digit. The grill on the right allowed the operator to listen to various parts of the machine. Some of the programmers became proficient in recognizing the sounds of a well written program.
Figure 6: The ENgineering Console
A portion of the LARC Engineering Console
Figure 7: The Page Recorder
This is one of the two Electronic Page Recorders supplied with the LARC. They were a good idea, but poorly engineered. People at the Lab fully redesigned the entire machines, providing up-to-date power supplies, CRTs, and film types. Then, the EPRs were heavily used.
Figure 8: The LARC Storage Drum
This is a close up photograph of a LARC Drum; there were 12 of them. For a technical description of these drums, please see the accompanying article,
The Remington Rand Univac LARC by Norman Hardy
Figure 9: The LARC Installation
Here is a panoramic view of the LARC installation, showing the extra Programmer's console (with Terry Tipton) in the foreground. Don Rose is standing next to the LARC tape units (which were replaced with IBM Tape handlers for compatibility and reliability reasons), and Kenneth Kinney is sitting at the other Programmer's console. It is correct to note that the LARC was a superb machine that met or exceeded all its design goals, but by the time it was delivered, increased speed was being provided by many other computers. The LARC was the first large scale computer to be designed around transistors. It was unfortunately, not the first to be delivered.
Figure 10: Drum Storage Unit
This is one of the twelve drums that came with the LARC. Each one held 250,000 words (a word was 12 decimal digits.) An appealing feature was that the read or write operations could begin immediately. There was no need to wait for the drum to rotate so the start position was under the head.
Figure 11: At The Engineering Console
Here, Tad Kishi, on the left, and Glen Hagen, are using the Engineering console to assist in some program degugging.
Figure 12: Debuggers
These are Jack Noonan, on the left, and Nevin Sherman, who tracked down an obscure wiring/logic error in the Arithmetic Unit that led to infrequent numerical errors in say, the 22nd digit of a double precision nuimber. Such an inaccuracy was very upsetting to Nevin who is an Astrophysicist. Jack is an Electronic Engineer. There was a major celebration when the place that was missing a wire was found. They look pleased.