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The Calculators

The introduction of computers to Scotland

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1964 TV documentary that looks at the introduction of computers to Scottish Industry and Higher Education and specualtes on how computers will change our lives. The programme examines applications in banking, research, shipbuilding and thread production, including shots of the first computer to be brought to a Scottish University. This documentary was part of a special industrial series, "Enterprise 64" intended to raise interest in the Scottish Industries Exhibition.

Questions & Activities


  • These were bold predictions in 1964. Have they come true?
  • What would life be like without a computer?
  • What mood does the music impart about the importance of the film?
  • How have computers changed the working environment?
  • Has the computer taken away the boring jobs?


Mathematics / Technology: Use this film to start a discussion on the importance of mathematics, numeracy and ICT in modern society.

Technology / Economics / Business Studies: These were bold predictions in 1964 but investigate the true impact of computers on business. Was there anything that the documentary makers predicted here that has been proved wrong? Research and make your own documentary about how computers have developed, how they have improved business efficiency and profitability, and how have they changed our lives. Discuss the new frontiers in technology and make your own predictions for the future.

History / Modern Studies / Business Studies: Contrast the Scotland of heavy industry presented in many of the contemporary films about Clyde shipbuilding e.g. Seawards the Great Ships, with this view of a modern information society.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-403-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T1733
Date 1964
Genre Documentary, Tv Doc
School Subject Business Studies, Technologies, Economics, Mathematics
Who (broadcaster), Ken Davis & Robert Anram, Arrow Productions (director), Scottish Television (production company)
Where Edinburgh
Event Working life
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 3:52
Film Length 22:22