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Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their heritage companies

 Our Mementos, Chapter 8

    Over our years of service, we all gathered a few mementos of our time working on projects.  For the most part, the Legacy committee is just photographing mementos, not retaining them as we are the PC cards and models shown on the Artifacts page.

     These souvenir cups were on Lowell Benson's home office shelf.  From left to right these represent:

  • The UNISYS Virtual Group which was installing banking software during the 80's. My wife brought this home from her bank workplace. Under it is a cup representing the UNISYS B-2 Avionics Control Computers.
  • Two copies of the CP-901 S/N 300 delivery recognition, one with my name L.A. Benson. The other side has a blue circle representation of the skies with the words Sperry UNIVAC ORION P-3C. 
  • A Sperry bull elephant mug, representing 'the ultimate ruggedized mass memory' - commemorating our bubble memory deliveries to NADC and to the Coast Guard.
  • A black Sperry mug in recognition of our winning the second source procurement for the Navy's AN/AYK-14 Standard Airborne Computer.
  • In recognition of the delivery of the 1,000th AN/UYK-7 computer in October 1983.
  • The UNISYS - WASP (Weasel Attack Signal Processor, F4-G Wild Weasel) issued in appreciation for Support of Operation Desert Storm.
  • The CP-140 Canadian Aurora Program, and
  • A PARAMAX cup with the People, Performance, Partnership motto.

2. Service Awards

   Tie clips, brooches, tie-tacs, rings, clocks, and many other items were chosen by employees in recognition of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, ... years of service to the company. The best of the service awards is on exhibit at the Lawshe Memorial Museum shown below. This clock (25-yrs.) and diamond ring (30-yrs.) were donated to the museum via the Legacy Committee by Millie Gignac, the VIP Club founder. 

Tribute plaque and photo by Legacy Committee co-chairman Lowell Benson.

   Univac used a magnetic tape circle on their awards then Sperry had the 'Sperry Star' symbology as part of the service award.  
  From Ginger Carter: My service awards were:

  •  5 years, plain;
  • 10 years, three rubies;
  • 15 years, three emeralds;
  • 20 years, a ring with a sapphire;
  • 25 years, a wall clock; and
  • 30 years, a mantel clock - both clocks still ticking. 

From Dennis English: The 10 year award information is probably correct [three rubies.] The 15 year award had 3 emeralds, the 20 year award had 3 sapphires and the 25 year award had a diamond centered between 2 sapphires.
My 10 year award was a magnetic tape reel with a single ruby.

Award snapshots by Larry Bolton.

From LABenson: I too have a 25-yr brass clock atop our firepalce mantle and a 30-yr silver tea service used for very special occasions.

3. Plaques 

Many awards were given to individuals in recognition of special performance achievements.  Some are shown here: at the right is the 1972 Tiger Award given to Lyle Franklin in recognition of his efforts in winning the AN/UYK-20 computer development.  Lyle has contributed numerous articles to our anthology, most from his experiences in marketing department. 

At the left is a recognition award to Lowell Benson as he led the technical proposal team in winning the WSIP (Weapon System Improvement Program.)  WISP added Harpoon Missile launch capability to the Lockheed S-3 airplane.  This was accomplished by the insertion of tailored I/O modules into spare slots of the I/O controllers of the AN/AYK-10 (Type 1832) dual processor computer. This was part of the S-3A to S-3B update.  
More information is available on the 32-bit computers chapter.


4. Recognizing Retirements

Just below is an Athena module and vacuum tube presented to Don Weidenbach when he retired in 1976. He had been a part of the Athena computer development as well as the subsequent Nike-X project.
The Nike-X project was cancelled when the US entered into the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) with the USSR.  Picture by Lowell.

At the right is a large framed caricature of Curt Christenson given at his retirement - recognizing both defense and commercial industry engineering and management projects. This was donated by his wife, now at the museum - picture by Keith Myhre. 

 5. Trinkets

At the left are a calculator in a box, a model of the AN/UYK-43 computer with an embedded digital clock, and a desk mount clock with an AN/UYK-44 circular emblem. These came from Jack Lavers, his wife later request return of the UYK-44 clock.

Another trinket example is the blue UNIVAC letter set contributed by Unisys Fellow Ron Q. Smith.  We had displayed these letters at a RGOD gatherings. Note, in the 'arc' of the UNIVAC letters is a print of the initial ERA logo.



In this Chapter

Chapter 8 edited 4/30/2022.