IBM 1052 I/O Printer-Keyboard



IBM 1052a<sup>1</sup>
IBM 1052a1

The IBM 1052 was a Selectric typewriter based printer-keyboard for the IBM 1050 Data Communications System. Released by 1963, IBM 1050 was one of the earliest computer terminals and was available in various combinations but all included an IBM 1051 Central Control Unit2. The other IBM 1050 components included the 1053 Console Printer, 1054 Paper Tape Reader, 1055 Paper Tape Punch, 1056 Card Reader, and 1057/1058 Card Punch3. The 1050 could send and receive data to and from another 1050 terminal or an IBM 1400, 7000 or System/360 series computer4.


The IBM 1052 was made of two distinct components; a Selectric printer and a keypunch keyboard. As the name suggests, the printing mechanism is borrowed from an IBM Selectric typewriter. The printer can accept data up to rates of 15.5 characters per second.

The keyboard is a modified IBM 024/026 keypunch keyboard assembly. Unlike traditional Selectric typewriters, the keyboard is connected to the printing mechanism electrically instead of mechanically. The connection is facilitated by a console control unit, which also allows both components to operate independently. Each key generates a binary-coded decimal and is outputted in IBM paper tape and transmission code format in odd parity5.



The IBM 1052a (pictured above) had an off-white coloured faceplate6. An example of this keyboard is housed at Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle, Washington.


IBM 2150 and 1052-7<sup>5</sup>
IBM 2150 and 1052-75

The IBM 1052-7 seems to be an evolution of the 1052 specifically for the IBM 2150 Console for the IBM System/360. Visually, it looks similar to the 1052a but features a few more buttons on the faceplate.

Unclassified 1052 variant

Unclassified IBM 1052 variant<sup>7</sup>
Unclassified IBM 1052 variant7

This variant has a black coloured faceplate, a larger switch on the left of the faceplate, and several more toggle switches.


  1. ComputerGeek7066 - File:IBM 1052.jpg [accessed 2021-07-09]. License: CC BY-SA 4.0 (cropped).
  2. Universiteit van Amsterdam - IBM 1050 Data Communications System [accessed 2021-07-09].
  3. IBM - IBM 1050 Reference Digest [accessed 2021-07-09].
  4. Wikipedia - IBM 1050 [accessed 2021-07-09].
  5. IBM - IBM Field Engineering 1052 Adapter and 2150 Console Theory of Operation [accessed 2021-07-09].
  6. NFR Partners - System 360 mod 30 [accessed 2021-07-09].
  7. IBM - IBM 1050 Data Communication System System Operation Reference Manual [accessed 2021-07-09].