Fastest Drum printer

From: Andy Holt <>
Date: Tue Oct 28 03:41:44 2003

All the main manufacturers in "the good old days" had top of the line impact
printers of about 1200 lpm +/- a bit. The ICL (then ICT) 1905 when I started
work had an Analex 1200 lpm drum printer - and this got transferred to a
PDP-11/20 (courtesy of some clever work by our chief engineer) when the 1905
was replaced by a 1905E. The ICL 1905E had a model 1933 (ICL number - don't
know who made it really) printer that was of similar spec. ISTR that in the
same era the top IBM printer was a train printer that worked at 1100 lpm
with a 64-character set or 1400 with a 48. Cannot remember what printers we
had when we moved onto the Honeywell - think they were a pair of 1200 lpm
train printers (by then we wanted a 96-character set)

I don't think there were faster impact* printers available - most
non-university sites preferred to go for multiple printers as a 1200 lpm
device got through paper _fast_ and kept operators busy reloading.

* we heard stories of the big mail-order companies having extremely fast
(and extremely large!) printers from Xerox that not-infrequently caught fire
if they had a paper jam, but were still cost-effective because of the speed
when they _were_ working. Loading the paper on these devices aparrently
required mechanical assistance as the roll (not box) was so heavy.


> I'm trying to find out what was the fastest drum printer.
> My belief is it was a model made by Burroughs where in times
> long ago i had a great time, ah still can remember knowing
> the status of a job by the squeal of the 5500's power supplies,
> sorry i slipped into memory.
> If I remember there was a printer, that in 1975 was considered
> old, but it was either 1,100 or 1,400 LPM with at Uppercase drum.
> I also remember the printer controller being about the same
> size as the printer.
Received on Tue Oct 28 2003 - 03:41:44 GMT

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