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Honeywell vs. Sperry Rand Records, 1935-1973.

Auteur: Sperry Rand Corporation. Univac Division.
Editie/Formaat:   Archiefmateriaal : Engels
Publicatie:Records.
Database:WorldCat
Samenvatting:
The Honeywell-Sperry Rand lawsuit produced 50,000 pages of trial transcript, and over 36,000 documents were entered in evidence. Sperry Rand's lawyers produced a huge archive of trial documents. Two major files were created, the "Original file" of documents from Sperry Rand's own archives, and the "Chronological file" of all documents located during the discovery process and entered as exhibits. The trial archive is
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Genoemd persoon: Howard H Aiken; John V Atanasoff; Isaac L Auerbach; John G Brainerd; Arthur W Burks; Joseph R Desch; J Presper Eckert; Herman H Goldstine; Grace Murray Hopper; Herman Lukoff; John W Mauchly; William C Norris; John Von Neumann
Soort document: Archiefmateriaal
Alle auteurs / medewerkers: Sperry Rand Corporation. Univac Division.
OCLC-nummer: 122503543
In: Sperry Corporation. Univac Division
Beschrijving: 181 linear ft.

Fragment:

The Honeywell-Sperry Rand lawsuit produced 50,000 pages of trial transcript, and over 36,000 documents were entered in evidence. Sperry Rand's lawyers produced a huge archive of trial documents. Two major files were created, the "Original file" of documents from Sperry Rand's own archives, and the "Chronological file" of all documents located during the discovery process and entered as exhibits. The trial archive is a major source on the history of the computer industry.

The "Original file" consists primarily of the records of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and documents the efforts of Eckert and Mauchly to develop and market the ENIAC, BINAC, and UNIVAC computers. The records on ENIAC trace the development of the first electronic digital computer from its conception in 1942 through its completion in 1945. Included are a copy of Mauchly's original proposal to the Ordnance Department, a copy of Mauchly's original proposal to the Ordnance Department, his correspondence with John V. Atanasoff, and his lecture notes from the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering. There is a complete set of ENIAC progress reports, as well as correspondence between Herman Goldstine, the Army's chief liaison and the engineers who worked on the project. There are also files on the EDVAC computer, the first with stored memory capacity, which was developed by John von Neumann.

The records of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation proper describe the development of UNIVAC on a component-by-component basis. They include technical memoranda, progress reports, engineering notebooks, and patent files. Customer correspondence includes letters and contracts with the National Bureau of Standards, A.C. Neilsen, Northrop Aviation, Fairchild-NEPA, and the American Totalisator Company.

The "Chronological file" is a complete record of all documents submitted in evidence during the trial. Much of the material in this series duplicates records in Series I - but the "Chronological file" is more complete. The records from 1935 to 1950 are particularly valuable as they describe the origins and evolution of most of the early computer projects. There are reports describing John Atanasoff's computer and letters which trace his unsuccessful attempts to sell his machine to IBM and Remington Rand during the 1930s and 40s.

The chronological file also contains documentation on the computer projects sponsored by National Cash Register, IBM, MIT, and Harvard University during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The records show that IBM provided considerable support to Harvard's Computation Laboratory run by Professor Howard Aiken. During this period National Cash Register with the support of the United States War Department was attempting to develop an electromechanical calculator, which the Army hoped to use to compile firing tables. This project was headed by Joseph R. Desch. The records also document MIT's famous Whirlwind Project which evolved out of a Navy contract to build an analog computer for a programmable flight trainer.

The middle boxes of the chronological file describe the various UNIVAC computers developed between 1952 and 1969. The records trace the process by which Remington Rand continually lost ground to IBM during the 1950s and 60s. The final 25 boxes of the chronological file describe Sperry's efforts to secure, license, and defend the ENIAC patent and the events leading up to the lawsuit.

The trial transcript contains 50,000 pages of testimony in 137 bound volumes. It is a complete record of the proceedings in the case between June 1, 1971 and March 13, 1972. The testimony analyzed the origins and early history of the computer from the perspective of the engineers, businessmen, and marketing people who shaped the industry. Judge Larson's "Finding of Fact, Conclusion of Law and Order of Judgement" represents both the verdict of the court and judgement about the history of the electronic data-processing industry.

The witness deposition file contains copies of the 102 transcribed depositions entered in evidence. Many of the individuals who worked on the ENIAC, BINAC, and UNIVAC projects were called to testify. Their statements provide important insights into the early history of the computer industry. Witnesses included John Mauchly, John Brainerd (Dean of the Moore School of Enineering), Joseph R. Desch, Herman Goldstine, Arthur Burks, John V. Atanasoff, and two of the engineers who worked on the ENIAC project, Isaac Auerbach and Herman Lukoff. Researchers should bear in mind that the depositions are made by interested parties attempting to influence the court.

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