Dell History at the Smithsonian


Last week, Michael was on hand at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to donate items from Dell’s past. One of those items was a PC’s Limited computer from 1985 complete with invoice #100. That machine joined other pieces of PC history from the museum’s vast collection that include ENIAC, an Altair, a TRS 80 Model 1, a first-generation IBM PC, an Apple Lisa computer and an original Apple Macintosh.

Beyond the machine from 1985, the donation included Michael’s employee badge, an OptiPlex GX520 that was one of the early machines to roll off the line from our Winston-Salem North Carolina plant in 2005 along with company documentation. Select items will be on temporary display in the museum’s “Treasures of American History” exhibit.

This video contains two parts: first, David Allison, chair of the museum’s Information Technology division talks about why the Smithsonian was interested in adding Dell artifacts to its collection. The second part is an interview with Cliff and Barbara Johnson, who bought the PC’s Limited machine in 1985 that was donated to the museum.

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  • Anonymous

    The WMV Download link is broken.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Zian: Thanks for the heads up… it’s fixed now.

  • Anonymous

    My first Dell was a PC’s Limited 286 with a 287 math co-processor.  I recall fondly watching the cylinder change on the 4-character diagnostic display during disk activity.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Bill: Thanks for your comment—definitely made me smile. From the time I got my first XT-compatible machine, I was hooked. After learning to upgrade components, the possibilities seemed endless.

    They still do. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Wow, PC’s Limited.  I haven’t seen that name in nearly 20 years.  I used to pass by a loading dock with that name on it on my daily commute to the Motorola (now Freescale) plant on Ed Bluestein Blvd. in Austin in the late 80s.  How the company has grown since then!