Systems Manual for 704 Fortran and 709 Fortran

In January, Peter Capek told me that while cleaning up a file cabinet in his home he’d come across:

… a detailed description of the FORTRAN compiler, dated in 1960, and explicitly distinguishing between the 704 and 709 versions, but covering both. It looks like it was typed and what I have is probably not an original, but likely one of very few copies. It’s a couple of hundred pages, and describes each section of the compiler, including table structure, in considerable detail.

Peter very kindly made me a photocopy of this 264-page document, which is a wonderful complement to the actual source code. I hope soon to be able to provide web access to this and the other Fortran documents I’ve come across.

Peter is a frequent contributor to alt.folklore.computers and supplied information for Frank da Cruz’s “The Columbia University Computer Center in 1965” article.

Update 2024/05/08: Update URL for alt.folklore.computers and https for Frank’s article.

2 thoughts on “Systems Manual for 704 Fortran and 709 Fortran”

  1. I would like a copy of the Systems Manual for 704 Fortran and 709 Fortran

    You can either E-mail it or send it by regular mail to:

    Henry Katz
    8250 Brattle Road
    Pikesville, MD 21208-2121

  2. Henry,

    The manual is 264 pages long, so it would be pretty bulky to copy and send to you. But luckily I have scanned it and made it available as a PDF file which you can download and print for yourself. Its URL is:

    You can also find it by going to the new FORTRAN web site at the Computer History Museum ( and scrolling down to the Documentation section, which is organized in rough chronological order.


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