A Tribute to R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S

A listing of New Jersey’s Makerspaces isn’t complete without tribute to RESISTORS - Radically Emphatic Students Interested in Science, Technology and Other Research Subjects.  The RESISTORS was one of the first computer clubs in the United States, meeting in the sixties and seventies in a Hopewell Barn in central New Jersey. The group of computer geeks (mostly teen students at Hopewell Valley Central High School) formed in 1966 to play with electronics, write primitive code, talk about the future of computing, and protest bad science education. 

The famous barn hosted a 1950's  9-ton Burroughs 205 vacuum tube computer, an early typewriter with a piano keyboard, an early IBM paper tape punch, early prototypes of touch-tone phones, Teletypes, telephone switchboards,  a museum of antique phones, and music boxes.  The Burroughs used enough power to heat the barn during the winter and could not be used during warm weather.  

One of their first projects was a computerized dating service in which they matched up Hopewell teenagers on the basis of questionnaires submitted to the computers.

According to their wikipage and webpage, the RESISTORS had a unique funding structure – dogs.  A breeding pair of malamutes to be precise.  Every spring they produced a litter of 7 to 9 puppies. Each sold for $125, to supply the year's budget.

The group had a final reunion over Memorial Day weekend, 1998.  On December 3, 2009, a fire destroyed the barn of RESISTORS advisor, Claude Kagan.  Luckily, he had already given his amazing collection of vintage technology to the InfoAge Museum and his papers to the Univ. Of Minnesota.

Claude Kagan passed away in April 2012 at the age of 88.

Newspaper articles from the 60’s are here and here.  Some more history is here.

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What are Makerspaces?

Makerspaces (also known as Hackerspaces, Creative Spaces, Fab Labs, Makelabs and in California - Makerhoods), according to Wikipedia,  are open community labs where members with common interests (e.g., engineering, computer programming, inventing, graphic design, etc.) gather to share resources, knowledge, career networking and build new devices.  Generally, makerspaces are designed to meet the following needs:

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