3c building in Framingham, ca. 1959

The Computer Control Company

The Computer Control Company (3C) was an early entrant in the manufacture of smaller computer systems, and followed a path parallel to the much better-known Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Both companies were founded by engineer/entrepreneurs who cut their teeth in government-sponsored computing projects of the early 1950s, found their footing selling digital logic modules and specialized digital systems, and hit their stride as manufacturers of small computer systems as they entered the 1960s. 3C, however, was acquired by Honeywell in 1966 and declined thereafter, while DEC went on to become the dominant player in the small computer space for the next two decades. It is said that history is written by the victors, and while the story of DEC has been told many times as the story of the rise of the minicomputer industry, 3C and its accomplishments go largely unlauded in the popular and accessible surveys of computing history.

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About this Site

I collect vintage scientific and industrial minicomputers. The oldest and largest machines in my collection are three DDP-116s, built in 1966 by the then Honeywell Computer Control Division. First and formemost, this site was conceived as a way to share these machines with like-minded vintage computer enthusiasts and others who may have a more scholarly interest in them. As I further researched their background and collected additional documents, however, it appeared that the company itself was not as well-known or appreciated as it deserved to be, and I hope to make it better known among students of computing history.