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Alexander Smith’s Nutting Associates collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 117.6983
Alexander Smith’s Nutting Associates collection is a compilation of materials originally created by Nutting Associates. This collection contains photographs, slides, marketing assets, manuals, news clippings, a scrapbook, and other Nutting Associates documentation. The company maintained the scrapbook housed in Box 2 from late 1967 through 1969, adding clippings from trade journals and internally produced marketing materials. Additional information can be found in the Contents List section of this finding aid.

Alexander Smith’s Nutting Associates collection is arranged into four series. The collection is housed in two archival document boxes and one oversized folder.


  • 1967 - 1998
  • Majority of material found within 1968 - 1973


Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) have not been transferred, The Strong has permission to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


4.3 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 oversized folder)


Alexander Smith’s Nutting Associates collection is a compilation of materials originally created by Nutting Associates, including photographs, slides, marketing assets, manuals, news clippings, a scrapbook, and other documentation. The bulk of the collection is dated between 1968 and 1973.

Historical Note

Founded by William (“Bill”) Gilbert Nutting in 1966, Nutting Associates formed following the acquisition of patent rights to EDEX Teaching Machines’ Knowledge Computer, a coin-operated, multiple-choice, question-and-answer machine that used a film projector to display questions. Following a redesign at Nutting Associates, they released the machine as Computer Quiz in 1967; the successful game popped up in airports, train stations, bowling alleys, student unions, and other venues where visitors might not have ordinarily expected to see coin-operated games. Nutting Associates produced Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney’s Computer Space, the first commercial arcade video game, in 1971.

Nutting Associates continued manufacturing arcade games up until 1977, when the company was purchased by William “Si” Redd, a slot machine manufacturer. (The final game released by Nutting was Ricochet during that same year.) Nutting Associates was absorbed by Redd’s new company Sircoma in 1979 and effectively shuttered.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Nutting Associates company information, 1967-1972

Series II: Computer Quiz, 1968-1972

Series III: Computer Space, 1971-1972

Series IV: Miscellaneous, 1967-1998

Custodial History

Alexander Smith’s Nutting Associates collection was donated to The Strong in August 2017 as a gift from Alexander Smith. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 117.6983 and were received from Smith (a librarian, researcher, and blogger) in one box. Prior to being in Smith’s possession, the materials in this collection were owned by Claire Nutting, widow of William Nutting (the founder of Nutting Associates) and were sent to Smith in 2017. (Claire Nutting received the materials from Nancy Watson, a former colleague at Nutting Associates, in 1998.)

Related Materials

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong preserves examples of the Nutting Associates’ Computer Space (1971), Computer Space Ball (1973), Table Tennis (1973), and Two-Player Computer Space (1973).

Processed by

Julia Novakovic, November 2017
Finding Aid to Alexander Smith’s Nutting Associates Collection, 1967-1998
Julia Novakovic
5 December 2017
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)