About The Chippewa Falls museum of Industry and Technology with Serial Number 1 and Serial Number 101

The Chippewa Falls museum of Industry and Technology is of particular interest to followers of supercomputing technology. The museum located in home town of supercomputer maker Cray Research and holds the assets of the original Cray Corporate Computer museum. Included in the collection is Serial Number 1, the first Cray-1 supercomputer and Serial Number 101 the first Cray XMP. Other exhibits include Footwear, W.S.Darley fire and emergency vechicles, Leinenkuge’s Beer ,


Located at 21 East Grand Avenue, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, USA
Contact: info.cfmit@gmail.com and +1 715-720-9206



Cray Research at Chippewa Falls DVD ( available from the museum ) This is a great documentary rolling from the original Cray-1 out to the Cray X-1. Including Les Davis and John Rollwagon.
A sample available here


Exhibits of interest to the Supercomputing community


CDC 160A SN2 from Uni of Wisconsin, CDC 7600 SN3 from LANL, CDC 6000 console, CDC 6500 SN1025 from Purdy Uni, CDC 1604 SN27 from Computer museum of Boston.

Cray-1 Serial number 1 world traveller, Cray XMP SN101 From Cray Research Mendota Heights, Cray-2 SN2001 from LLLMFE, Cray YMP Mod D SN1001, Cray-3 Quad modules, Cray-4 Wafer.

Cray-1 Serial Number 1

These pictures from a visit by Jimbo – See text below or here CRA_003D


Picture notes from Jimbo.

The Cray Museum is not really the “Cray Museum” anymore, but part of the “Chippewa Falls museum of Industry and Technology” and is located at 20 E. Grand Avenue, Chippewa Falls.

In the days of Cray Research the idea of a Corporate museum was well supported and space was provided in various buildings to house significant computer artifacts. The corporate museum moved a few times when the space it occupied was needed for production purposes, but after the Silicon Graphics take over it was given to the town of Chippewa Falls along with an unused Cray Research building in the centre of town. The “Chippewa Falls museum of Industry and Technology” was then established by the town to showcase the industry that Chippewa Falls has been home to over the years. <<00 Chippewa Museum.jpg>>

Companies like the Mason shoe factory and the Leinenkugels brewery are represented along with most of the artifacts from the Cray Corporate museum. Concentrating on the Cray Corporate part of the museum one finds a fascinating history of Seymour Cray’s achievements. The museum contains several CDC (Control Data Corporation) systems that were designed by Seymour Cray.

1) The CDC 1604. (pictures 01 to 05)

2) The CDC 160-A. It is said that it was designed by Seymour when he was home one week with the flu and had nothing else to do. (pictures 06 to 10)

3) The CDC 6500 (pictures 11 to 15)

4) The CDC 7600 (pictures 16 to 18)

5) There is only a picture of the CDC 8600, but it has a familiar shape!   (picture 19)

In 1972 Cray Research was founded. (picture 20)

The Cray Research machines are represented by :

5) The Cray-1 “serial number 1” : The original machine that started the company! First shipped from the Hallie Lab in 1976 to Los Alamos Scientific laboratory. Fortunately they liked the machine so much they bought it. Eventually “serial 1” would be installed at half a dozen sites where it would impress so much that customers bought one. (pictures 21 to 24)

6) The Cray X-MP : The name was apparently an “in” joke by some design guys that the system would be an “eXtraordinary Multi Processor” hence “X-MP”. Serial 101 was  the first X-MP. (pictures 25 to 26)

7) The Cray-2 : What can you say … a very sexy machine!! In the museum they have a sculpture in a glass case which came from one of Seymour Cray’s houses which it is said is his original concept for the Cray-2. (pictures 28 & 29) The electronics were supposed to be in the flying saucer shaped part and the power supplies in the four legs. This proved too difficult to construct so the design moved to a cylinder. (picture 30) This also proved a problem as it was found necessary to gain access into the centre for wiring repairs.  The final “C” shape then evolved. (picture 31) Close-ups of a Cray 2 module and the control panel mounted in the centre.  (pictures 32 to 34) Combination PDU (Power Distribution Unit) and HEU (Heat Exchange Unit). On the bottom left and on most of the right side are variacs to adjust the voltages to each of the columns. On the upper left side is a digital volt meter which shows the voltage selected by the “power supply selection” knobs below it. In the centre  are controls for the generator and refrigeration unit. (Picture 35)

8) Cray Y-MP : (picture 37) By the use of large scale integration a single processor was now contained on one module board assembly. A module can be seen in the picture leaning against the system. The circuit boards were mounted on either side of a cold plate assembly which was hollow and cooled by passing fluorinert through a series of channels within the coldplate. Two of these cold plate assemblies were joined together to create a single processor. The hoses attached to the left side of the modules were used to connect it to the fluorinert supply manifold with the returning fluid, after it has cooled the module, coming out of the right side. This is the first version of the Y-MP which still had the old Model-D IOS and hence the X-MP style curved sections on either side of the processor chassis to house it. Later model Y-MP systems where in regular shaped cabinets as the use of large scale integration techniques meant the processors and IO subsystem could each be produced on a single module.

9) Various Cray-3 and Cray-4 hardware. (pictures 38 to 43) These items are on display in glass display cases and I cannot add more than what is written on the labels.

10) The storeroom: (picture 44) This is interesting as you can see an X-MP chassis in the rear with no modules installed in its transport cradle ready to be moved.  In front of it are more transport cradles. These black metal frames were bolted together around the chassis and at either end had wheels. Once bolted together, and to the Chassis, hand pumped hydraulic jacks lifted the chassis so that it could be transported on its wheels. The rest of the room is full of other old Cray hardware. (picture 45)   

11) This is apparently the chassis they used to develop the air cooled version of the T3E. (picture 46)

12) Cray-1 test unit. (picture 47) After the Cray-1 was in the field it was found that they needed some sort of “box” to test the system and run diagnostics in order to keep it running. These units were built to perform that function.

13) Sorry for the poor quality pictures, but the museum contains a display dedicated to Seymour Cray. (Pictures 48 to 51) Of interest is the picture of the “Island Street School” showing Seymour Cray at age 6.

I was most fortunate several years ago to be given a tour of the museum by Les Davies, who gives his time to the museum as a volunteer. When we came to Seymour Cray’s desk (picture 52) he told me that Seymour liked his desk to be free of clutter. In the picture you can see a sign which states that this was Seymour Cray’s desk and a photograph of the forest. These have been added by the museum along with the forest scene behind the desk to show that his only inspiration was the view of Chippewa from his desk. Les Davis said that when ever you walked past his office and Seymour was not in you only ever saw the work book and a pencil and both items were always lined up parallel.

A picture I am very proud of…(picture 53) After Les Davies finished giving his tour of the museum I got him to pose for me in front of Serial 1.

16) Old Cray Corporate Museum brochures. There are two brochures here. One I picked up in 1991 and another from 1992. (pictures 54 to 59) These date back to when the museum was part of Cray Research and was housed in one of its buildings. 

CRAY RESEARCH FOUNDED (text from picture)

In 1972, former CDC founders, Seymour Cray, Frank Mullaney, George Hanson, and Noel Stone, along with engineering teams headed by Liz Davis, Dean Routledge, Noel Stone and Harry Runkle, formed to Cray Research, Inc. The company headquarters were in Chippewa Falls. Seymour Cray, as computer architect and designer, provided the technical vision for a Cray-1 computer with balanced scaler and vector architectures and high-performance software tailored to efficiently use the machines architecture.

Serial number one of the Cray-1 was first powered on in the May of 1975 and shipped to the Los Alamos National laboratory in 1976 for a six month trial period. At about the same time, the National Centre for Atmospheric Research(NCAR) persuaded Cray to add error correction and to begin development of standard software. NCAR was Crays first official customer. The company became profitable upon the acceptance of serial number three buy an car in December 1977.

CDC 8600 COMPUTER (text from picture)

The Hallie laboratory team, headed by Seymour Cray, went on to design the CDC 8600. This scaler machine was never completed although many feel it’s feasibility was proven before the project was terminated when CDC closed its laboratory in Chippewa falls in 1973. The eight 600 featured multilayer boards similar to those later used in the Cray-2 with pins in the Z plane that is vertically from board to board. Although some of the modules survive the chassis is believed to have been scrapped in 1982.

CRAY-1 COMPUTER (text from picture)

The fastest machine of its day, the Cray-1 speed came partly from its shape, A large C. which reduced the length of wires and that the time signals needed to travel. It’s dense packaging of 200,000 integrated circuits and 67 miles of wires required a new cooling method. Freon pumped through pipes in aluminium bars and copperplates sandwiched between circuit boards in each module transferred the heat from the modules to the aluminium. Power supplies and cooling systems were placed in the chassis is seats. Due to a large amount of hand wiring each Cray one took a year to assemble. Engineering advances and customisation to satisfy unique customer needs meant that no two Cray ones were identical. Applications included climate analysis weather forecasting, and computerised graphics for the film industry.

  • Processor speed 12.5 and sec
    Word size 64 bit
  • Storage size in words.25 minus 1M
  • Number of boards per module two 
  • Weight of mainframe 10. 5KLBS
  • Number of processes one CPU
  • Memory banks eight or 16
  • Number of module types of 109
  • Cooling technology freon
  • Circuit technology 5/4 and gate ECL
  • Footprint size 41 ft.²


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