BULL computers chronological history

Honeywell (1955-1985)                       honeywell_logo.gif (2265 octets)

Honeywell's origin can be traced up to 1863, to  a patent filed by A.M. Butz for a thermostat. Thermostats remain  Honeywell core business since that time. The company diversified during WWII and Vietnam wars in ordnance production and became interested in computer through acquisitions as a complement of control systems.

N.B. This paragraph includes  after-1970 milestones that are not relevant to the Bull subsidiary (such as US government special business)



1955 Honeywell computer business was originated from the Datamatic Corporation, founded in Newton MA, as a joint-venture by Raytheon and Honeywell, to produce large-scale computer systems. Raytheon sells its 40% interest to Honeywell in 1957..
1957 Installation of the first Datamatic D-1000 to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan.
1958 Introduction of H-800 first shipped in 1960
1960 Introduction of Honeywell 400
1962 Introduction of Honeywell 1800 (first shipped in 1964)
1962 NEC and Honeywell conclude a 10 years agreement granting to NEC a license on products and technology of Honeywell
1963 Introduction of Honeywell 1400, evolution of H-400
1963 Introduction of Honeywell H-200, a machine targeting the IBM 1401, with a similar architecture and a "Liberator" program translator.
1964 Introduction of the H-2200 a larger H-200
1964 Introduction by CCC Computer Control Corp of DDP-116 minicomputer. Computer Control will be later acquired by Honeywell.
1964 Manufacturing of computers starts at Newhouse's  Honeywell plant in Scotland.
1965 Extension of the H-200 product line with models 120, 1200 and 4200
1965 H-8200 large scale processor is able to run H-200 and/or H-800:1800 programs. The multiprogramming dispatcher is implemented in hardware.
1965 Introduction of DDP-516 by Computer Control.
1966 Acquisition of Computer Controls Corporation by Honeywell

Introduction of DP-416

1967 New extension of H-200 product line with H-125 and 1250
1968 Introduction of Keytape
1968 The Computer Control  division introduces the DDP-324 dual processor and the H-632
1969 Introduction of H-3200 model of H-200.
1969 Introduction of model 115 in the H-200 product line. The line will be renamed H-2000 after models 115/2, 1015 and 2015 introduced in January 1971, and model 2020 and 2030 in December 1972  after the GE merger.
The line  will eventually merge into Series6 0  NPL through a H-200 mode (emulator) on level   64.
May 1970 Disclosure of the acquisition of GE computer business
15 Oct 1971 US Air Force orders several H-6000  WWMCCS (World Wide Military Command and Control System), a $3.5M contract.
GCOS III extensions were required for this order noticeably in the domain of security. The project that extended until the 1990s was a key milestone in the rejuvenation of the Phoenix lab after the merger.


Honeywell-Bull 1970-1975
Bull-General Electric becomes part of Honeywell in 1990.  The overall strategy of Honeywell is to let Phoenix consolidate the upper end of the market, to let Bull inroads in small systems and to recapture the medium size market (the traditional Honeywell strength)  with the Boston resources augmented with French and Italian.


21 Sep 1970 Formal acquisition of Bull-General Electric by Honeywell. BGE takes the name of Honeywell-Bull.
12 Jan 1971 Introduction of GE-58
Jun 1971 Closure of Amsterdam plant and transfer of card equipments manufacturing in Belfort.
5 Jun 1971 Manufacturing of Honeywell H-3200 in Angers
12 Sep 1971 First shipment of model 58, a derivative of GE-55
1971 Honeywell-Bull Services regroups the different French service companies of CHB.
1 Feb 1972 Introduction of K212, as a punched card substitute for data entry.
May 1972 Jean Pierre Brulé is named PDG of Honeywell-Bull in replacement of Henri Desbručres made honorary chairman
2 May 1972 Honeywell introduces the System 700 in the mini computer market.
17 Jan 1973 Introduction of Multics to the market.
Sales in France will not gear up until the 1975's merger with CII.
Apr 1973 Honeywell-Bull Services is sold to BNP
1973 First customer of TDS transactional system on GCOS3 at Le Secours, Paris.
Apr 1974 Introduction of Honeywell Series 60.

Level 61 is the continuation of series 55,
Level 62 is designed by Honeywell Information Systems Italia (ex-GEISI, ex-Olivetti-GE),
Level 64 medium system is designed by Honeywell Bull,
Level 66 is the follow-on of Phoenix GECOS-III product line.
The Level66-derived Multics computer will be named Level-68 a few months later.

Honeywell NPL was originally a brand new product line. Only the low and medium size models had been developed. Series 60 was a disguise of all currently active Honeywell systems under a new image, with very few commonalities. The market of the Honeywell proprietary systems became artificially segmented for 30 years leading to significantly increased development costs and low profitability (at consolidated level).

1974 Design of Honeywell-Bull 61/60 that associates a Series 61 computer to a front-end processor (Datapoint 2200) handling operators terminals.
1975 Introduction of NML (New Minicomputer product Line) as Series 60 Level 6
Honeywell had a limited process control position with their acquisition of CCC in 1964. It was planning to closing down that business when NPL started. However, the success of their neighbor DEC (PDP-8 and VAX) lead the Honeywell management to reconsider their position and to introduce their own minicomputer product line, developed in Billerica MA.
12 May 1975 Announcement of the merger between Honeywell-Bull and CII. Honeywell Bull takes over CII for one franc. The French government maintains for 3 years its subsidies to R&D and provides guaranteed orders from French public entities.




Revision : 29 avril 2002.