metrovick 950 The Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company Ltd was one of those typical British heavy industrial companies that diversified into all sorts of technologies. They built London Tube trains, Lancaster bombers during WW2, and also what is, to the best of my knowledge, the only commercial computer in the world built using point-contact transistors. This was not MV's first foray into numerical calculating machines, as they had built analogue computers previously. However, they took the bold step of commercialising the Manchester transistor computer, which is sometimes claimed to be the first such machine in the world. They called the commercial version the Metrovick 950.

This image from a Metropolitan Vickers advertising booklet shows a 'staticisers' circuit board from the machine, with a strong backlight so that both the components and the tracks are visible. The transistors can clearly be seen to be point-contact transistors of type TP1 or TP2, made by Standard Telephones & Cables, as described on my STC page. This raises an interesting point because in commercialising the machine, MV changed it from point-contact to junction transistors to increase reliability. However, the shape of the transistors on the image is unambiguous: those are undoubtedly STC point-contact types. Therefore this MV booklet probably shows a prototype card that was later replaced by junction transistor circuits. The booklet used to be available on the Web but has now vanished, fortunately I have a copy.

However, I possess no parts of a Metrovick 950, but I would dearly love to have some because of my fascination with point-contact transistors. If you know where I can buy any, or trade other rare early devices for some, or even just view them, or you have any information on this machine, please