History

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE EAST

THE SAGA OF BULL BELFORT

SOME WORDS OF HISTORY :

The start : Jacques Stern, then President of group BULL, asked a team of “young” retirees to set up a non-profit organization aimed at keeping alive the legacy of decades of BULL innovations in information systems. That was in year 1985. This led to the creation of the association FEDERATION OF BULL TEAMS in 1986 :

  • In France, 400 members : local sections in Paris, Angers, Belfort.
  • Three associations : Germany, Belgium , Italy

In Belfort, the first achievements of the local section included :

  • The publishing of a retrospective brochure about BULL Belfort « The Saga ».
  • The restauration in Belfort of first historic machines :
    • The statistics machine of Fredrik Rosing BULL (1923)
    • The T 30 tabulator (1932)

These machines had marked the entry of Bull in the era of the punched card and, later, in.computer sciences. They have been presented to the public since 1988. (First Symposium on the History of Computing in France. Grenoble, May 1988). In years 1990-1992, other successful presentations  followed, that made up for FEB’s reputation.

  • 1992 – 1993
  • The moment of truth for the delegation

After the untimely demise of the pioneers, and the closing of “BULL Peripheral Devices”, a new team set to work and devoted itself to keeping the torch lit. Such new departure was marked by a major two-week exhibition in the local historic city of Belfort. The event, which received the support of local institutions, of BULL and its subsidiaries, and our friends of FEB Paris, was well received by the public. Nearly 2000 pupils from primary and secondary schools  participated in tours organized for them. (Belfort March / April 1993) The highlight of this period was the move from a previously static présentation, to a dynamic show of operating machines. Since then, our team of loyal, motivated, cohesive, competent members are continuing their mission of restoring a punched card machines shop of years 1940/1950/1960