Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey


1962 : A Computer Census

from Ron Bird ...... not sure where I got the original listing from and it is by no means complete, but from what I remember from 1962, it is pretty accurate re machine names and customers. I have added in machines and users that I am aware of - most of which I worked on if they were from I.C.T.

"There were also a couple of Powers Samas ECC computers around in 1962 in State Government departments in Melbourne but I can't remember the departments. Hope this is of interest.    

Editor : (January, 2018)  In July, 1954 Melbourne racing clubs were noted as awaiting arrival of a new doubles tote from England, revealed the following month as a Powers, Samas sales recording machine "which it is claimed can be successfully adapted as a doubles totalizator ... the machine is of English construction and the Melbourne representative is Kalamazoo (Aust.) Ltd., office systems equipment".  It was noted four different machines had then been inspected (the others the Wells Doubles Totalizator (nominally from the U.S. but invented by Roy Wells, an Australian and of 90 percent Australian construction from Sydney and used by two Sydney clubs), an Automatic Totalisatore Limited (A.T.L) tote, probably identical to that used in Queensland, and probably another from the English Bell Punch company). The A.T.L. machine was ultimately selected for the three Melbourne racecourses and later for trotting meetings at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Initial Source: Unidentified publication for Australian civil servants.

This table was compiled from information appearing in various periodicals and made available by equipment suppliers and user organizations. It does not purport to be completely accurate. Additions and or alterations made by me (Ron Bird) marked with *


* ICT 555 (This machine was used to run payroll for SA Department stores including Harris Scarfe - I travelled to Adelaide on Monday mornings (on a DC6) and returned on Wednesday night (on a Viscount) after all payrolls had been run. I did this for 18 weeks running in early 1963 Sydney).


A.W.A. - G-15
Burroughs - Burroughs E101
General Electric - GE 225
IBM - 650 and 1401
International Computers and Tabulators - ICT 1500
National Cash Register Co. - NE (National Elliot) 405 and NCR 390
Remington Rand - UNIVAC SS80


E.D.P. Pty. Ltd. - Bendix G-15
* Ferranti Ltd. - SIRIUS - Located at Bureau in Queens Road
* Heymanson & Co. Ltd. Bank House in Bank Place - CDC 160A (agents for Control Data Corporation computers) -
IBM - 1620 and 1401
* International Computers and Tabulators Ltd. - ICT 1202 (installed at Henderson House - 608 Londsdale Street Melbourne
* National Cash Register Co. - NCR 390 and NCR 315 - Installed at NCR Bureau in Southern Cross Hotel plaza
Remington Rand - UNIVAC SS80



National Cash Register Co. - NCR 390 to be installed January, 1963.


Sydney University - SILLIAC (installed 1956); IBM 1620 in Chemical Engineering Department.
University of N.S.W., Sydney - UTECOM (installed 1956); IBM 1620  in School of Applied Science.
Melbourne University - CSIRAC (installed 1955).
Monash University, Melbourne - Ferranti SIRIUS  
Queensland University, Brisbane - GE 225
Adelaide University - IBM 1620   Building prototype of medium capacity computer called CIRRUS.
University of Western Australia, Perth - IBM 1620  
A.N.U., Canberra - IBM 1620


A.M.P. - IBM 650 and IBM 1410
* Atlantic Union Oil (now Esso) - IBM 1401 ordered
* Australian Gas Light (AGL) - IBM 650
B.H.P., Newcastle - IBM 1620 and IBM 1401
* C.S.R. (Colonial Sugar Refining) - ICT 1301
Drug Houses (Aust.) - IBM 1401
Lysaght's, Port Kembla - IBM 1401 ordered
MacPhersons - IBM 305
Merchants Pty. Ltd. -  IBM 305
M.L.C. - IBM 650
Nielson Ltd. - IBM 650 and IBM 1620
Parke-Davis - IBM 305
* Paul's Milk and Ice Cream - ICT 1301
Phillips Electrical Industries - IBM 1401
Qantas - IBM 1401
* Rothmans Tobacco - ICT 1301
Sterling Pharmaceuticals - IBM 1440 ordered
Tube Mills, Mascot - LEO III ordered
* WD & HO Wills Tobacco -ICT 1301
Woolworths - IBM 305



A.N.A. - NCR 390 ordered
* BALM Paints - IBM 1401 ordered for 1 Nicholson Street (ICI House)
* Carlton United Brewery - Powers Samas ECC (ICT) - Bouverie Street Carlton
Dowds - IBM 1401
* Felt and Textiles ICT 542 - 2 Nicholson Street (now new AXA Building)
* Ford Motor Company, Geelong - IBM 1401
General Motors Holden, Dandenong - IBM 305
* I.C.I. (Now Orica) Research Labs Ascot Vale - Ferranti SIRIUS ordered
* I.C.I. (Now Orica) ICT 555  - 1 Nicholson Sreet
* Kodak - ICT 542  - Abbotsford
* Moulded Products (Now Nylex) - ICT 1500 ( Rebadged RCA Spectra 70) ordered for Nepean Highway Mentone HO
* National Mutual Life ( Now AXA) - IBM 1410
Nettlefolds - IBM 1401
Sigma Drug Company - IBM 1401
* Shell Oil - LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) (William Street Melb HO)
State Electricity Commission - IBM 1620
State Savings Bank - IBM 1401 ordered
* T.A.A. (Trans Australian Airlines) (now Qantas)- NCR 390 ordered
* T.A.A (Trans Australian Airlines) (now Qantas) - ICT 550 - Little Lonsdale Street
* Vacuum Oil (now Mobil) -IBM 1401 - St Kilda Road



Drug Houses (Aust.) - IBM 1440 ordered
Queensland United Foods -ICT 1301
Woolworths - IBM 305
* Mount Isa Mines - ICT 555


* Cadbury-Fry-Pascall - ICT 1301 (I was part of installation team in late 1961- early 1962 and lived in Hobart for 6 months) - First 1301 in Australia. We finished building the machine on site and wrote the Cadbury invoicing program in absolute machine code as neither assembler (MAC) or the operating system would work reliably. (I have photos and a short video clip of this machine)



Department of Main Roads, Perth - Bendix G-15  
Electricity Trust of S.A. - IBM 1401
M.W.S. & D.B., Sydney - IBM 1401
Northern Rivers County Council, N.S.W. - NCR 390
State Savings Bank, Melbourne - IBM 1401


A.R.L., Melbourne - Burroughs E101
Atomic Energy Commission, Sydney - IBM 1620  
* Bureau of Census and Statistics, Canberra - ICT 1201 (I have photos of the 1201)
* Bureau of Census and Statistics Canberra - Four ICT 555 machines still operating when we   installed the CDC 3600/3200 in 1964
Commonwealth Actuary, Canberra - Burroughs E103
(Burroughs E101 (E103 not found)
C.S.I.R.O., Melbourne - CSIRAC
Department of Defence, Canberra - Honeywell 800
Russell Hill Department of Interior Survey Branch, Canberra - IBM 1620
* Meteorological Bureau - ICT 555 Spring Street Melbourne
* RAAF - ICT 555 Victoria Barracks, St. Kilda Road
Snowy Mountains, Cooma - SNOCOM and NE405
* W.R.E. (Weapons Research) Salisbury South Australia - WREDAC (AKA Elliot 403) and IBM 7090
* War Service Homes - ICT 555 - Commonwealth Centre - Spring Street Melbourne

Editor : While researching something else in August, 2013, I came across another reference to the unnamed "Unidentified publication for Australian civil servants" (without Ron's many additions).

This used exactly the same terminology, and includes some key U.S. installations :

Bendix G-15

CDC took over Bendix in 1963 and continued briefly to manufacture the CDC-15 and CDC-20. It was suggested that Bendix’s foray into the bright new world of computers cost the company something in the order of $30 million, but it continues today as the supplier of car accessories.

IBM 1401 Data Processing System (1959-1971)

From the left: 1402 Card Read-Punch, 1401 Processing Unit, 1403 Printer. It one stage circa mid-1960s, it was claimed that almost half the computers in the world were “1401 type” systems

NCR 390

First machine I ever worked on!

Punched tape and cards, but the main storage was magnetic strip ledger cards via the console, also used to load programs. One installation I worked on (circa 1966-67) was Moulded Products in Mentone, shown with an ICT 1500 in the ‘62 Census

View enlarged image

ICT 555

Originally the BTM 555, re-named as the ICT 555 after ICT was formed in 1959 by a merger of the British Tabulating Machine Company (BTM) and Powers-Samas in 1959


Absolutelyo trace of the E103 on-line, not even on an extensive TimeLine  Presumably it was larger and probably an updated model of the E101 which was released circa 1956, the cost supposedly U.S. $32,500. The other possibility is that the original 1962 Census was have listed the model number incorrectly.