Science & Technology



Museum for the ages: Collector’s computer devices from B.C. to present day


Published in Science & Technology News

ROSEWELL, Ga. — Visitors can chart history inside the sprawling Computer Museum of America where the evolution of technology tells a story of the time period.

Outer space is showcased at the center of the museum with an 8-foot astronaut and a large replica of the Apollo 11 lunar lander. The space exhibit is dedicated to the 1969 moon landing and the technology that supported the mission. The lander is set over a blown-up photo of the moon floor and is only one aspect of the winding exhibit.

Commercial real estate developer Lonnie Mimms has spent nearly 50 years amassing computers of almost every kind. A fraction of his collection of age-old computers, electronic devices and vast wonders of the tech world take up 35,000 square feet in the Computer Museum of America.

Mimms and his wife Karin created the museum in a former Burlington Coat Factory in Roswell, Georgia. Going forward, the nonprofit museum will rotate exhibits that showcase the evolution of computers and their impact on life and history.

A colorful 1,100 square-foot-long wall depicts a timeline of historical facts on devices dating from B.C. to the common era, incorporating milestone events in news and pop culture with photos and graphics.

“We really want to be the Smithsonian for technology,” Mimms said.


The Mimms say they want to attract visitors from across the U.S., and that will take significant funding. They opened the museum in 2019 and plan to add at least another 65,000 square feet of exhibit space on a second floor.

A fundraiser titled Byte: A Night of Cuisine, Cocktails and Computers was to take place at the museum on Thursday to help raise $80,000 for programming and operations. The museum hosts STEM summer camps and school field trips, and is a partner with Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

Rena Youngblood, executive director of the Computer Museum, said another goal of the fundraiser is to build interest for funding construction of the second floor. Mimms said construction and remodeling for exhibit space will cost tens of millions of dollars.

His total collection ranges from small items such as a Sumerian tablet used for bookkeeping and inventory in 2000 B.C. to the space exhibit. The Mimms said they believe their display of 50 tall supercomputers is the largest collection in the world.


swipe to next page

©2023 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus