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Oral history interview with Robert Emmett McDonald, 1982 Dec. 16. Preview this item
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Oral history interview with Robert Emmett McDonald, 1982 Dec. 16.

Author: Robert Emmett McDonald; James Baker Ross
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
McDonald focuses on early computing activities at Remington Rand after discussing his own career: his undergraduate education in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota and his graduate work at Iowa State and the University of Chicago; his years during the second world war in the Navy; and his employment with Northwest and Braniff airlines before joining Remington Rand's computer operations in 1953.
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Genre/Form: Oral histories
Named Person: Charles Green
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Robert Emmett McDonald; James Baker Ross
OCLC Number: 63288447
Notes: Recorded in Minneapolis, Minn.
Description: Sound cassettes : 2 (60 min. each) : analog, mono. Transcript : 54 p. Computer data (1 file : 75K)

Abstract:

McDonald focuses on early computing activities at Remington Rand after discussing his own career: his undergraduate education in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota and his graduate work at Iowa State and the University of Chicago; his years during the second world war in the Navy; and his employment with Northwest and Braniff airlines before joining Remington Rand's computer operations in 1953. McDonald discusses at length the Remington Rand organization: business strategies, upper level management, marketing, allocation of resources, product development, and the decentralized nature of operations.

The differences between commercial and government projects and tensions between the two divisions of Remington Rand, Eckert-Mauchly and Engineering Research Associates (ERA), are also discussed. McDonald mentions the efforts of Charles Green of Sperry, who tried to integrate ERA into the Sperry-Rand organization after the Sperry merger with Remington Rand. He mentions the influence of outside consultants on Remington Rand and International Business Machines (IBM), and the influence of ex-IBMers on the Sperry-Rand organization. He concludes by contrasting Remington Rand and IBM.

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