CSX-1 Computer

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The CSX-1 computer, nicknamed “Dolly”

The CSX-1 computer was commissioned on July 2nd, 1962 by the High Energy Physics Group at Illinois. Designed as a short word length (16-bit) computer, the CSX-1 specialized in non-numerical operations for projects in artificial intelligence and symbolic data processing. It was the first computer to be designed partially by another computer.

The original concept for the CSX-1 developed in 1960, led by Illinois scholars Richard M. Brown, and R.D. Jenks. In a 1964 article, Brown discussed the conceptualization: “Principal design emphasis has been placed on logical data manipulation, although arithmetic operations are available; economy and simplicity of design have also been important.” The central processor of the machine was 7 feet tall, 10 feet long and 3 feet thick. After almost twenty years of service, the CSX-1 was decommissioned on April 6th, 1981.

– Loomis Laboratory. Once the CSX-1 computer was completed it was moved to Loomis Laboratory (known as the Physics Building at that time).


Brown, R.M. (June, 1964). The CSX-1 Computer. IEEE Transactions on Electronic Computers. EC-13:3

Brown, R.M., Jenks, Richard D., Stifle, J.E., & Trogdon, R.L. (1965). Manual for the CSX-1 Computer. Revised Edition.

Physics Illinois. (n.d.). Physics in the 1960s. Retrieved from http://physics.illinois.edu/history/timelines/1960s.asp (Updated link here).