The IBM 350 was announced as a stand-alone system in April 1956. Installed units were announced in January 1957. SAMAC, a second stablemates, was announced in September 1957; it was to be IBM's first production system with an internal disk drive. Units manufactured for other customers during 1958 and 1959 were delivered in September 1960. The IBM 350 was a rack-mounted computer with a cabinet. The unit was priced at $85,000 (US$2,313,500, £1,564,300 or €1,624,000) and was five feet tall, five feet long and four feet wide and weighed 7.5 tons.
Although IBM had produced prototype 35-inch storage units before, the IBM 350 was the first time a commercial mass-produced storage unit exceeded 20 inches in diameter. A 212-inch diameter disk storage was announced in September 1958. An 840-inch diameter disk storage and a drum 3,009 inches in diameter were announced in May 1960; these were produced until December 1961. Foundation contracts for 2,536,408 8-inch (250 mm) diameter disks were awarded on December 12, 1959. The IBM 350's method of putting read/write information on a track was called "tape-to-disk operation". The IBM 650 did the same.
The IBM 350 unit was furnished with the minimum of peripheral devices, with the exception of a 14.5 inch cathode-ray tube monitor. The monitor was mounted on an I/O panel in front of the computer cabinet and adjusted by rotating the monitor. The monitor has two red and two green phosphorescence lamps. Viewing is done by shades that can be rotated to adjust the angle of the phosphorescence light to the eye. When the lamps are on the screen can be viewed directly. The system has an internal battery back-up. The unit contained: 6 one-chip registers, 4 seven segment graphic display, 48 word/byte/inch electronic typewriters, a 18-character D-type character set, and a keyboard that was 23.5 inches (59.76 cm) wide, 4.25 inches (10.67 cm) high, and about 4 inches (10.16 cm) deep. d2c66b5586