BCL Molecular Computer

The BCL Molecular Computer was first introduced in 1971 and was sold and used in various forms until the 1990s.

Users were from a range of enterprises, but were most often tool merchants, building supplies and general distribution companies. A more unusual use of the system was in livestock markets.

This very stylised image of the system shows the processor at the front left alongside a paper tape unit, a disk drive on the right hand, the operator’s console (an IBM selectric typewriter), and four single line display terminals.

One of the most popular models was the Mark Four processor and this sales brochure picture gives a good idea of a typical installation – the processor, a Hawk disk drive and a wide printer.

Sites would generally have two or more disk drives, each of which has a fixed disk internally and a top-loading removable disk pack.

This is the distributor version of the Molecular – with its covers off. It's neat and more modern looking, but basically the same machine.

This is the control panel from the Mark Five model. We suspect that anyone who used this beast of a control panel may well remember it with horror!

If you have any memories of using a BCL Molecular or know if any survive, please contact us.