Electrostatic Memory tube (Williams Tube) from an IBM 701 computer, c.1953
Electrostatic memory (or Williams) tube from an IBM 701 computer, c. 1953. The Williams Tube is a memory device for storing digital information in computers. The device is named after F. C. Williams (1911-1977) who developed it in Manchester towards the end of World War II. The first tubes used were cathode ray tubes of the kind used in radar displays. A working version was demonstrated in 1948. Information is stored as an electrostatic charge held by the phosphor coating on the screen which glows when struck by electrons. The pattern of charges is continuously refreshed and represents the digital information being stored.
- Computing & Data Processing
- Object Number:
- memory device
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.