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Title Delta IBM 1977 Agent Set
Date 1964-1984
Collection Delta Air Lines Airport, Office & TechOps Items
Object Name Processor, Digital Data
Catalog Number 1995.104.1
Description Deltamatic reservations agent set consisting of a white laminate, wood and metal desk holding a modified IBM Selectric typewriter, the blue metal housing for the air information device, a pushbutton panel and the terminal control under the desk. A vertical schedule card holder that was attached to the console is missing.

Exhibit label fixed to desk, ca. 1984, reads: "IBM 1977 Agent Set - Used in Delta's first computerized reservations system, the IBM PARS reservation system terminal was introduced in Delta service in 1964. Progressively replaced by more modern hardware and relegated to support roles over the years. The last 1977 was phased out in October 1984. The 1977 set was a modification to an IBM Selectric typewriter to permit it to operate as a computer input-output device. The unit operated at about 15 character per second compared to the 400 character per second of 1984's most modern terminals. Lacking a CRT screen, the unit was used with paper reference manuals which contain flight schedule data."
Artist/Maker IBM
Height (in) 48
Length (in) 41
Width (in) 48
Provenance Deltamatic was Delta's first computerized reservations system, introduced in 1964. By 1965, the Deltamatic electronic reservations system consisted of 24 key Delta cities in a network consisting of over 400 agent sets linked to a dual installation of IBM 7074 mainframe computers at Delta's General Officer in Atlanta.

Description of the Deltamatic agent set and its operation by Delta Training Supervisor Wheeler during Deltamatic demonstrations for the media in 1965:

"The DELTAMATIC sets are composed of four basic units: the air information device, the typwriter unit, a rapid action pushbutton grouping, and the terminal control. In the cardwell to the left of the typewriter unit is a desk of air information cards. The air information card lists direct and connecting service from our local city to selected popular destinations. . .

The computer reads the holes in the bottom of the card. When placed in the air information device, the green card check light indicates that the computer is reading the card.

By depressing the month, date, and the number of seats the passenger desires, the agent can check availability. The response from the computer will be a light response of all available flights. The agent describes the available service, and when the passenger decides on the flight desired, the agent depresses the corresponding button next to the flight, and the need button. The computer reesponse will be a confirmation print out of the space sold. If the customer changes his mind, the sale can be ignored.

As each individual portion of the reservation is submitted to DELTAMATIC, it is processed by the computers in Atlanta, which have the ability of making 250,000 decisions per second. The response is either a light response or a print out on the keyboard."
Search Terms Delta Air Lines
Delta Reservations & Customer Care
Subjects Agents
Credit line Delta Air Lines