• Jun 16, 1926
    (b.) - ?

Bio/Description

Engineer, machine designer and engineering trainer for IBM, he was the Chief Architect of the IBM 1401 which was known as the SPACE Machine. Born in Omaha, NE, he came from a line of technical people: his grandfather was a watchmaker and an engraver; his father was a draftsman, architect, Mechanical Engineer and teacher. His father died when he was about four years old and he and his mother moved back to Binghamton, New York, to live with his grandparents. He attended a technically oriented high school in Binghamton, and was trained as a toolmaker, with the goal of becoming a toolmaker for IBM. After graduation, he enrolled in the Navy V-5 program which consisted of one year of college and then flight school. After the year of college, the navy decided they were not losing pilots at the expected rate, so he had the opportunity to stay and transfer to Cornell University with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aeronautical Engineering. The war ended after a year and a half at Cornell and he was discharged from the Navy. His first job, after leaving the Service, was as a Tool Designer, designing tools on contract for IBM such as Drill jigs, Milling fixtures, and punch–and-die sets for the IBM 407 Printer. He then applied for a full-time job at IBM and instead of a job as a Tool Engineer, they offered him a job as a Customer Engineer to be trained in a special new course along with nine other technicians. The requirement was that they spend at least one full year working on the on the production line learning how to assemble every product and to do the final testing. A new Electronic Calculator (604) was demonstrated to them and it was expected that they would learn to service the device. After graduation, he was sent to Washington D.C. where he spent his spare time designing two new product proposals: a Calculating Key punch and an Interpreter using wheels for printing. He was able to secure an interview with the Engineering department and was immediately offered a position. His first assignment was to design a modification for the 405 to handle Extended Capacity Cards (ECC). His manager was a former CE (in Russia!) and was the designer of relay-implemented large Calculators. At that time, he became a student in the first class given in IBM in mathematical circuit logic design. When the course ended, the Education Manager (Perry Perrone) asked him to teach an Engineering Training Program to teach new engineering hires how to be IBM engineers. He also taught the 604 principals and circuits. At the same time, he was working on the design of a new Interpreter, the 519 and designed the Zone unit for the print mechanism. After that he volunteered to teach the Circuit Design course and then a Computer Architecture course. Later he transferred to the Advanced Systems Development Department (ASDD), where he was involved in the design of a myriad of systems. It was at this time that he began to hear about the World Wide Accounting Machine (WWAM) machine, a new development program led by Ralph Mork, Director of the Military Division at IBM. IBM was in need of an advanced accounting machine to stave off increasing competition with other companies. Later he became involved with the design of a new accounting machine called the Stored Program Accounting and Calculating Equipment to which he gave the acronym SPACE; formally the IBM 1401.
  • Date of Birth:

    Jun 16, 1926
  • Noted For:

    Chief Architect of the IBM 1401 which was known as the SPACE Machine
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: