The Incredible Evolution of Computer Memory

Earliest Memory – from the very beginning

early tape drive

There are very few products that have advanced at the rate of computer memory. In just two decades, from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, we saw the invention of pivotal products in the development of computer memory as we know it today. The Magnetic Drum, The Williams Tube, The Selectron Tube and the Magnetic Core to name but a few. This timeline from Computer Hope does a great job of showing the progress being made at that time. While all these inventions were extremely important, none of them were commercially available to the masses.

In the early 1950’s different types of tape memory drives went on the market. “UNISERVO” tape drive and IBM 726 Magnetic drive were arguably the most famous of these. At the time, these were consider relatively portable and affordable and were therefore quite popular.

The Hard-Drive – A new era dawns

1956 was a real game changer. IBM released the RAMAC.

The RAMAC 305 was the first commercial computer based on ‘hard disk drive’ technology. It allowed for real-time random access to data and in larger amounts than before. It was the beginning of the hard drive that’s recognised today. This infographic gives you some more information on IBM’s historic creation, including some jaw dropping statistics. We’ve also compared the cost of memory on the RAMAC compared to your average USB memory stick on sale in Dec 2016, 60 years after the RAMAC’s release. If you still want to know more, a lot of information can be found on the Computer History Museum website.


harddrive history graphic


If you’re interested in purchasing some USB memory sticks at today’s very affordable prices, please contact us for a quote.

If you’d like more information on designs, visit our website to see the full range of customise-able memory sticks that we offer.