The code name for IBM's first "supercomputer," the 7030, which was started in 1955 and completed in 1961. The first of eight units was delivered to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and was in use for 10 years. STRETCH was IBM's first attempt at building transistorized computers and was designed to "stretch" the speed of its current vacuum tube models by a factor of 100.
The machine was very sophisticated for its time, providing simultaneous execution of business instructions with floating point arithmetic. It was estimated that IBM lost 40 million dollars in developing STRETCH, but that the knowledge gained led to huge profits with its subsequent computers.
The STRETCH was the first of IBM's transistorized computers. Its style of cabinetry and console were used in many subsequent computers by the company. (Image courtesy of IBM.)