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Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

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

Our Stories, Chapter 100

The monthly articles, books, magazine articles, and slide shows linked hereunder relate bits or bytes of the ERA and legacy company activities, experiences, and products.  The VIP Club Legacy Committee welcomes your stories which mention computer based systems developed by ERA, UNIVAC, ..., especially those with Twin Cities content.  When you write it, we will format, insert links to related information, then post it here or in the Legacy Anthology chapter of most relevance. Thanks, LABenson - Editor.
  This human-computer interaction typist was captured from the internet, thanks to anonymous.

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1.0  Articles for the Month

  • Most of the articles linked hereunder are Wikipedia like in that they have embedded links to supplemental information.
  • Articles are listed by the year and month below; numbering started at 100 to avoid duplication of anthology chapter indexing; e. g. 2023 No. 300, was the 200th monthly article posted since April 2007.  That 200th 'Telling the Story' Legacy paper has tables-of-articles by author and by title, plus the 2022 year-end Legacy Initiative status.
  • Some articles that have a human interest scenario may also be in our newsletter, e. g. 2020 #266, April: VIPS Adventure by Gish Devlaminck is also in the 2020 May/June newsletter,
  • For a 'Reader's Digest' version of the 116 articles from 2007 through 2015, peruse #216 Recapping a Decade,



  • 311, December:  ATLAS and the early days of computers excerpted from a cryptography newsletter - written by a Harlan Snyder, LCDR USNR, Ret. who had experiences with ATLAS in both St. Paul and Washington DC.  
  • 310, November: MAPPER systems' business reviewed - an opinion paper from Lou Schluter.  
  • 309, October: Computer Aided Design Personified, a three decade career summary from Earl Vraa.
  • 308, September: TCRS program experiences paper from DS
  • 307, August: A Snapshot in time by Jack Nichols - 1971 Press Release.
  • 306, July: Report, ERA History Talk, about an ERA plaque unveiling - includes with photos of the June 15th event by Keith Myhre.
  • 305, June: ZKSD Proposal article from Glen Hambleton - a foray into German Air Traffic Control. 
  • 304, May: David Gunderson's Univac DoD career summary segment included support of AN/UYK-23 Quicklook system. 
  • 303, April: David Gunderson's Univac EARTS career summary segment including duty in Alaska. 
  • 302, March: Human-Computer Interaction history story, a CBI HCI award candidate by Lowell Benson.  
  • 301, February: Minnesota Historical Society oral interview of Keith Myhre - career summary including volunteerism at the Lawshe Memorial Museum .
  • 300, January: Telling the Story, Legacy Status with a table of Our Stories by author/source plus the Pre-Covid setup of the museum exhibits.




  • 274, December: Computer technology standardization and Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) re-use saved the government un-calculated millions of dollars. Prologue by Charles Alcon, Lcdr US Navy ret. 
  • 273, November: World Wide, an anthology of places and people outside of the United States - all connected to UNIVAC/Sperry/Unisys in St. Paul.
  • 272, October: Cataloging Legacy Artifacts at the Lawshe Memorial Museum, Initiative status update by Keith Myhre. 
  • 271, September: Assignment in Mississippi by Kevin Hoffman, a Lockheed Martin retiree.  Software support for DDG-993 class destroyers.
  • 270, August: ARTS II became part of our heritage when Burroughs bought Sperry to become UNISYS - An ARTS II display is on hand, soon to be part of our museum exhibit.
  • 269, July: Larry Bolton provided photos of people testing Semi-conductor components and scans of test logs saved by Don Johnson. Among those tested were 4907828 and 4908000 devices.
  • 268, June: a June 2016 Unisys Computing Growth slide set from Unisys Fellow Ron Q. Smith
  • 267, May: A Precision Agriculture Initiative article by Steve Ernst, a defense conversion activity.
  • 266, April: VIPS Adventure by Gish Devlaminck - as an engineer Gish fixed a problem at a customer site, with an innovative twist to make it happen.
  • 265, March: Plated Wire Dialogue, several retired engineers responded to an inquery from a British Plessy engineer.
  • 264, Feb: The Starring the Computer website has information about over 400 computers that have appeared in movies and TV series.  We've copied the links to our computer types that are posted there. Thanks to James Carter who did all the research to create this web site of history.
  • 263, Jan: Sperry Utah from Ed Bower, also see his St. Paul micro-bio at



  • 249, December: Support of the Apollo program from the cities, Star Tribune article scanned by Larry Bolton.
  • 248, November: Creation of the 1824, a Star Tribune article scanned by Larry Bolton - it has photos of Chuck Mattson and Roy Prohofsky
  • 247, October: Some more musings about the Sperry involvement with the S-3 aircraft ASW systems - thanks to Chuck Stockman.
  • 246, September: Early computer parts, an identification journal for possibly File Computer or TACS printed circuit modules - thanks to Mark Greenia, Don Weidenbach, and Larry Bolton.
  • 245, August: An article about St. Paul engineering evollvement in the JSF, F-35 development, thanks to Judy Sloan, et al'.  
  • 244, July: An Open House informational booklet from 1974 shows Sperry Eagan and Shepard Road facilities. About 350 then employees listed therein.  Thanks to Mike Lins, son of former employee Ray Lins. 
  • 243, June: Listing of recent papers and documents contributed to the Charles Babbage Institute, collected from several retirees.
  • 242, May: Project 6977 Arbitration resulted in a $16M judgement against Sperry. An Introduction plus the judgement page replicated herein.
  • 241, April: Burroughs; The Computer History Archives Project presents films and pictures about computer systems of the 60s - thanks to Mark Greenia
  • 240, March: FASTRAND: The Computer History Archives Project pays tribute to this mass storage drum - thanks to Mark Greenia
  • 239, February: Apollo 11 Success; a 1969 letter from Forest Crowe, VP & GM of Univac Federal Systems Division - thanks to Andy Simon.
  • 238, January: NEXRAD successes had radar processors from St. Paul facilities. Thanks to Les Nelson.


  • 237, December: Almost a Book - The organization of our Legacy Anthology Web Site
  • 236, November: Before ERA, ERA to UNISYS, ERA to UNISYS 1100-2200 Product Technologies, and the Evolution of Technologies.
  • 235, October: Carl Johnson Papers - Engineer Carl Johnson donated two bankers' boxes of history documents to the Charles Babbage Institute. This paper copied the associated web site as an example of the CBI archiving results. 
  • 234, September: BOMARC - The UNIVAC 1104 computer was the initial computer used in these systems developed in the 50s - Curt Nelson has provided an installation report.
  • 233, August: Through the Ages - A handout developed for visitors at the upcoming 13 September Open House and Legacy Exhibit in Eagan.
  • 232, July: ERA 1103 Announced - scan of selected pages from the ERA Orbiter newsletter of February 1953 with links to supporting information. Thanks to Curt Nelson for the newsletter.
  • 231, June: Quicksilver - A Shadowbox Story.  LeRoy Larson wrote this story with editing by Lowell Benson. 
  • 230, May: Listing of documents and pictures now archived at the Charles Babbage Institute and the Lawshe Memorial Museum. This paper includes a summary of the Sperry-UNISYS Photo Club history.
  • 229, April: Triple 418 Configuration Inquiry from a web site reader.  
  • 228, March: Program Management recollections from 1974
  • 227, February: Design Features of the ERA 1101 Computer. This came from Curt Christensen's estate, now in the Charles Babbage Institute archives.
  • 226, January: Upgrading complete for the dozen Canadian Patrol Frigates - still using our equipment. Thanks to Ed Pogorzelec.


  • 225, December: An ex-Navy Technician asked a question about a 15-pin logic card used in the 1219B computer - this stimulated an engaging series of engineering recollections - Circuit Card History.
  • 224 November: An Air Force System from the 60s - Half-a-dozen ex-employees communicated electronically to develop this story, memories triggered by a snaphot in the October newsletter.
  • 223, October: A Letter to the UNISYS Blue Bell Retirees Group as their 'club' is disolved.
  • Sorry - Lowell was too busy with other volunteerism and family obligations to seek out Legacy stories during this interval.
  • 222, May: We have two people items this month; the 2007 oral interview of Marc Shoquist by John Westergren and
    221, Rapinac's army experiences to complement his 2007 oral interview
  • 220, April: The April web site article is a paper listing the artifacts transferred from Lowell's temporary basement repository to the Lawshe Museum in July 2015. Each item illustrates or describes bits and pieces of our extensive Information Technology history.
  • 219, March: This is a compendium of the 'Legacy' articles which have appeared in our newsletters since 2006 - a decade biography of the Legacy Committee.
  • 218, February: 70 Years Ago, February 1946: The Army dedicated the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) at the Moore School of engineering. In recognition of the event we've posted Ron Q. Smith's presentation slides, Unisys and the Growth of Computing. Bill Mauchly coordinated several recognition displays in the Philadelphia area.
  • 217, January: 70 Years Ago, January 1946: ERA opened their business doors. In recognition of the event we've posted William 'Bill' Norris, WWII Experiences that lead up to that historical month.


  • 216, December: A letter to Ole and Recapping a Decade of Legacy Committee Accomplishments. 
  • 215, November: Employed 60 Years! - James Bacon, innovation legend personified. This paper includes the 1991 organization chart of VP Bill Marberg.
  • 214, October: This month we have a doublet; the 1980 Clyde Allen engineering organization, the year that the VIP Club started and
    213, the 1961 Noel Stone engineering organization, the year that webmaster, LABenson was hired.  
  • 212, September: An Eighteen Bit Computers paper is a collection of inputs from almost a dozen people who recall applications for NASA, the Navy, the Marines, and others.
  • 211, August: Larry Bolton found and transcribed an engineering organization structure paper from February, 1977. 
  • 210, July: We've found and scanned the VIP Club membership invitation letter and flyers printed by UNISYS;  before Paramax, Loral, and Lockheed Martin.
  • 209, June: MATCALS - A 30- Year Life - submitted by Ron Irwin
  • 208, May: Legacy Preservation Partnerships. Lowell Benson's paper describes Club partnerships with our hosts, the Charles Babbage Institute (CBI), and the Dakota County Historical Society.
    207, A CBI published short version of this paper is
  • 206, April: Blue Bell to LMCO employee, Harry Goldbacher [1965-2007], has bits of his career summary in a hardware paper [wired up] and
    205, in a personal paper [Mentor Frank].
  • 204, March: George Gray has extracted several paragraphs of NSA use of UNIVAC computers during the 60s and 70s.
  • 203, February: Craig Solomonson wrote about his found treasure, perhaps the world's first 8-bit microcomputer built by UNIVAC in 1972! Thanks to Steve Newcomer and others for the development history. About 2 years later, the became the topic of a Vintage Computer Federation on-line video.
  • 202, January: Our B-2 Stealth Bomber processor development - project engineer Jim Inda has written a paper with some inputs from Mike Wold, one of the program managers. 


  • 201, December: Donald L. Ream has been nominated as a name of a future US Navy Ship. Most people knew Don as our Navy customer - a few know that he was an ERA employee in Washington DC for a period of time in the early 50s. Thanks to retired Navy captains David Boslaugh and Donald Leichtweis plus Jim Rapinac for leading this initiative - as usual, editing by Lowell.
  • 200, November: Two articles for this month from Lawshe Museum employees. First, a report on 'Accessioning in View' by Andrew Fox then
    199, LMCO volunteerism by Sally Anderson. These two were extracted from a recent publication by Lawshe Museum Trustee, Bernie Jansen. Posted herein “Courtesy of Dakota County Historical Society”.
  • 198, October: Reporting on 'our first visit' to the Charles Babbage Institute by Richard 'Dick' Lundgren. This 2006 report was languishing in my pending folder. It is apropos to relate the early days of the Legacy Committee. 
  • 197, September:  A 'bottoms up' chronology of semi-conductors used by the defense groups of ERA/UNIVAC/Sperry/ UNISYS/LMCO by Larry Bolton.
  • 196, August: A review of Dr. Thomas Misa's Digital State book by Lowell Benson.
  • 195, July: We add another commercial computer history document with an ERA/UNIVAC/Sperry/UNISYS 1100-2200 hardware design paper from Richard 'Dick' Petschauer.
  • 194, June: The UNISYS, Roseville facility has a history wall. One set of shadowboxes thereon shows the computer systems technology of the '80s. Mike Svendsen and Lowell Benson created this booklet.
  • 193, May: The UNISYS, Roseville facility has a history wall. One set of shadowboxes thereon shows the ERA to UNISYS computer systems technology evolution. Mike Svendsen and Lowell Benson created this document.
  • 192, April: The evolution of UNISYS and their primary 'commercial' computer line is sequenced in this slide set from Ron Q. Smith.
  • 191, March: Before ERA originated on Minnehaha Ave. in St. Paul, the buildings were a WWII Glider factory.
  • 190, February: As the Sperry/Navy use of Plant 2 faded away in the early 80s, a new tenant phased into parts of the area.
  • 189 & 188, January: Herbert Mitchell wrote an Autobiography; George Grey excerpted 4 files of info to share with retired UNISYS fellow Ron Q. Smith. Ron sent them to Lowell who culled out Herb's personal info then condensed into two papers; Vol I and Vol II


  • 187, December: KH-9 Imagery recently declassified; this is the program that we [UNIVAC/Sperry/UNISYS] supported with the 1230 mTc computers. An AF document has the Sunnyvale site info. By Don Neuman, 20+ yrs there. This program lasted for 20 years with a variety of spacecraft. has the satellite information.
  • 186, November: UNIVAC's London Development Center by Arlyn Solberg. 494s, 1108s, Exec 8, Airline Reservation Systems, and Minnesotans overseas are all part of this brief history.  Arlyn passed away in June 2015, this article was updated in April 2020.
  • 185, October: Realization of a Dream - The 1st report about our Legacy exhibit at the DCHS Lawshe Museum by Lowell Benson with editing by Bernie Jansen, John Westergren, and Dick Lundgren plus photos by Keith Myhre.
  • 184, September: A First Flying Programmer and associated information by Lowell, Ned Hunter, et al' - a follow-on to the Ocean Surveillance article of last month.
  • 183, August: Ocean Surveillance - In recognition of 50 years of systems by Lowell A. Benson with inputs from Art Francis, Les Nelson, and Sherm Mullen (head of the Lockheed Skunk Works for several years.) Jim Rapinac interfaced with Sherm for this article.
  • 182, July: Semiconductors at UNIVAC by Bernard 'Mike' Svendsen.
  • 181, June: 45+ years Maintaining, Preparing, and Producing Executive Reports; a MAPPER History Presentation by Lou Schlueter.
  • 180, May: A letter to the Smithsonian asking to correct an exhibit's erroneous information noticed by Keith and Tricia Myhre.
  • 179, April: The Plant 8 Closure by edited by Lowell Benson using inputs from Dan Carlson, Dick Lundgren, Kristen Maloney, Tom Montgomery, and John Westergren; plus photos by Mike Eischen's team.
  • 178, March: 24-bit Computer Repertoire Cards as scanned and described by Lowell Benson.
  • 177, February: My ERA and pre-ERA 'mini-history' by Don Weidenbach, edited by LABenson.
  • 176, January: A Brief History of Sperry Corporation, a paper found in the archives.


  • 175, December: Legacy - Preservation Sites as presented by Bernie Jansen at the Nov. 16th Unihogs luncheon.
  • 174, November: 'Sperry History Boxes' by Lowell A. Benson records another seven Roseville 'history wall' shadow boxes.
  • 173, October: UNIVAC Computers I Have Known by Dr. George Champine.
  • 172, September: 50 Years of Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Experience - A slide set from Les Nelson with comments by Lowell Benson
  • 171, August: The Atlas Evolution by Lowell Benson records the Roseville history wall shadow boxes.
  • 170, July: A Legacy Epoch - read it then send Lowell a note about your involvement!
  • 169, June:  A doublet created by Al Reiter as two web pages. The first is about maintenance people who worked on and with the UNIVAC I computer {Ed note: Updated 3/28/2020}.
    168, The second is about the UNIVAC I hardware.
  • 167, May: David Shelander has put together a synopsis of the AN/UYK-43 US Navy computer. 
  • 166, April: CREATIVITY-SUCCESS-OBSCURITY, 'UNIVAC - What Happened?' by Gerald E. Pickering.
  • 165, March: The WW II History Round Table topic at Ft. Snelling on Feb 9th was 'Code Breaking and the Beginning of Computers' with author Colin Burke as the featured speaker.  Lowell Benson followed with ERA Legacy slides and
    164, a talk, script file.
  • 163, February: Arlyn Solberg programmed TRANSIT, the Navy's first GPS test.  [2 pages, 298 kb]
  • 162, January: Lowell Benson has developed a Computer History Review of the first 25 years of computing with his 2011 observations and opinions relative to stored-program computers.  


  • 161, December: A review of the four Legacy Display venue setups used this fall to get the word out - by Lowell A. Benson.
  • 160, November: Focus on the Future" - a set of viewgraphs used by John Westergren on 11/18/2011 while briefing the Unihogs/Uniturkeys attendees about the Legacy Committee status and processes.
  • 159, October: "The Digital Age," a reproduction of an Inventing Tomorrow article used with U of MN, CSE permission.
  • 158, September: Hardware Artifacts List:  This list of 468 items was compiled by Larry Bolton, the Legacy Committee needs to find a home for them by 2013. 
  • 157, August: Video Library list: The Legacy Committee would like to have volunteers listen to and transcribe these recordings - contact John W. or Lowell B. if you are willing to try any one of them. 
  • 156, July: When Computers came to Minnesota - questions raised by Jim Ketchum in a paper left with Warren Burrell.
  • 155, June: ENIAC - Beginning of a computer summarized by Curt Christensen.
  • 154, May: MATCALS descriptive document scanned by Ron Irwin with formatting by Lowell.
  • 153, April: MATCALS - Controlling the Skies written in 1993, author unknown and
     152, "Deployment to Somalia" by CWQ4 John P. Rego, March 1996. Both articles submitted by Ron Irwin.
  • 151, March: Pre-ATHENA musings by Warren Burrell
  • 150, February: An addendum to the April '08 Plated Wire Manufacturing document by Larry Bolton and Clint Crosby. 
  • 149, January:  Posted on 12 December, 2010 - A reprint of ERA document XA19742 dated 12 December, 1950.  This the ATLAS interface document, the world's first stored-program computer operational at a customers site.


  • 148, December: A doublet this month, the 30-year Anniversary booklet (1.2Mb) as written by Quint Heckert w/some edits by Lowell and
    147, the Hidden History of Computing (9.6Mb) viewgraphs by Dr. Misa which were presented at our October 13th anniversary celebration program.
  • 146, November: R. P. Blixt authored a high level technical description of the CP-754/A hardware and system design in 1963 - from Curt Nelson's files.
  • 145, October: How was the CP-754/A associated with the Navy's Anti-Submarine Warfare Project ANEW in 1963? Read an Aviation Week article to find out.  Submitted by Curt Nelson, scanned by Lowell Benson
  • 144, September: CP-823/U communications reveals discovery of an intact 1963 computer. Document compiled by Lowell A. Benson.
  • 143, August: History of NSA General Purpose Electronic Digital Computers by Samuel S. Snyder, 1964. This document chronicles all of the National Security Agency’s computers through 1963 including the ERA ATLAS I, ATLAS II, BOGART, the UNIVAC 1224A (CRSPI), and UNIVAC 490.
  • 142, July: Legacy Display at the University of Minnesota - 2010 summer session by Lowell A. Benson
  • 141, June: 200 Nanosecond Memory edited by Lowell Benson with text inputs from Curt Hogenson, Dick Erdrich, Don Mager, Ken Pearson, et al.
  • 140, May: ERA 1102 Computer, edited by Lowell Benson with technical text extracted from an unpublished Blue Bell book and experiences written by Warren Burrell - Project Engineer.
  • 139, April: Prototyping a Drum Memory, a re-print of a re-print of a 1947 article written by ERA’s J.M. Coombs with prologue and content comments by Lowell A. Benson.
  • 138, March: "Legacy' at the University of Minnesota" by Lowell A. Benson. An artifact and document exhibit in Walter Library.
  • 137, February: "The almost Silicon Valley" by Tom Webb. Used with permission, originally published in the Sunday 1-2-2010 St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • 136, January:  'Our Winnipeg Story' by Glen Johnson with an addendum by Dave Saxerud. 




  • 109, December: Dick Lundgren's European Business articles from the 2007 VIP Club newsletters
  • 108, November: Harvey Taipale explains our Legacy initiatives 
  • 107, October: Larry Bolton's Vendor Surveillance Notebook 
  • 106, September: The Fred Hargesheimer Story by Ed Nelson, et al.
  • 105, August: Networking by John Nemanich  
  • 104, July: CPF, UYK-43, & UYK-44 contract wins, Company newspaper articles by Gene McCarthy and Mike Bukovich  
  • 103, June: David Andersen's 'Invention of Voice Mail'. This article later became a chapter in his book "The Cello Maker" and other stories of the working man.
  • 102, May: Sperry Military Computers by George Gray
  • 101, April: Apollo Computers from Don Mager.

2.0 Books

Each of the following books mentions ERA or UNIVAC or Remington Rand or Sperry or Unisys while discussing computer history aspects. Many of these are available at the Charles Babbage Institute on the U of MN West Bank campus and a few are at the Lawshe Memorial Museum reading room.

Year Title Author Publisher Notes
1950 High Speed Computing Devices Engineering Research Associates, Inc. McGraw-Hill 1983 Reprint Series for the History of Computing by Tomash Publishers. A digital version is available from the Bit Saver's web site, linked from our backup convenience folder.
1956 Large Scale Digital Computers, An Annotated Bibliography [saved from the Bit Savers site] Remington Rand Univac This bibliography is intended for those who wish to inquue into aspects of the computer field which are unfamiliar. To accomplish this it has been made relatively comprehensive in the listing of books and articles which give serious but not highly technical treatment of subjects such as general theory of digital computer design and operation, and the business and scientific. applications of these machines.
1959 UNIVAC Products - St Paul A Handbook of Major Products Designed, Developed, and Manufactured at ST. PAUL 16, MINNESOTA 1947 to 1959 Product Planning Division Remington Rand Univac
December 31, 1959
Don Weidenbach donated his copy of this book to the Legacy Committee. The Committee subsequently donated the book to the Charles Babbage Institute. A committee member scanned the book's pages and used character recognition software to create a docx file and a pdf file on a disc which is donated to the Lawshe Memorial Museum. Lowell updated the original doc file by fixing the character recognition errors and eliminating white space of pages between sections. Curt Christensen's copy is at the Lawshe Memorial Museum. The pdf version is linked here
1960  A History of Sperry Rand Corporation  Staff Sperry Rand Publications Department
1964 Case Study of the Development of the Naval Tactical Data Systems R. W. Graf, Research Associate United Research Inc., Cambridge, MA A reference copy of this document is saved on our URL for researchers.
Monterey CA
NPS-36J076091, Thanks to George Grey for the pdf file.
1979 From Dits to Bits Herman Lukoff Robotics Press  This has early computer development from a Blue Bell employee perspective.  
1979Land of the Giants, A History of Minnesota BusinessDon W. Larson Dorn Books
7101 York Ave. S
Seven pages scanned for their ERA and CDC origination history  - Chapter 11, The Computer Age
1986 Engineering Research Associates, The Wellspring of Minnesota's Computer Industry  Communications Department, St. Paul Minnesota Sperry Booklet created in commemoration of ERA's 40th anniversary. A scanned electronic copy was provided by Michael Lins, January 6, 2016. Mike's father, Ray Lins, worked in plant 1 and his uncle Stan Lins worked in plant 8.
1987  A Few Good Men from UNIVAC David E. Lundstrom MIT Press; Cambridge, MA 1997 re-print by Replica Books; Bridgewater, NJ - Mr. Lundstrom was a UNIVAC employee then a Control Data Employee.
1987 When Computers Went to Sea - The Digitization of the United States Navy Capt. David L. Boslaugh IEEE Press Order #BP00024 Chapter 2 of this book is on line at 
1990 History and Evolution of 1100/2200 Mainframe Technology Richard J. Petschauer Copyright© 1990 Unisys Corporation Printed in U S America This paper was prepared in recognition of the 35th anniversary of USE inc. and was presented at the Fall 1990 Conference in Seattle, Washington.
1996 Computer: A History of the Information Machine Martin Cambell-Kelly and William Aspray Basic Books  
1999 Magnetic Recording - the First 100 Years Eric d. Daniel, C. Denis Mee, & Mark H. Clark IEEE 3 Park Avenue, Ny NY 10016-5997 ISBN 0-7803-4709-9  - Chapter 16 Data Storage on Drums cites the work of Dr. Sidney M. Rubens
2002? "It Wasn't all Magic: The Early Struggle to Automate Cryptanalysis 1930s- 1960s" Colin Burke, Center for Cryptology History, National Security Agency, 2002. Includes the history of Engineering Research Associates, and some history on CDC, IBM, NCR, Raytheon, and Remington-Rand.  
2005 Computers and Commerce: A study of Technology and Management at Eckert Mauchly Computer Company, Engineering Research Associates, and Remington Rand, 1946-1957 Dr. A. L. Norberg, Retired CBI Director MIT Press  Dr. Norberg was the original director of the Charles Babbage Institute at the U of MN, also an initial advisor of the Club's advisory committee.
2008 A History of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering 1888-2008 Edited by James R. Leger University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Pages 182 through 189 discuss ERA and computer pioneering.
2008  Unisys Computers: An Introductory History. George T. Gray and Ronald Q. Smith The companies that are encompassed within Unisys were among the pioneers in the field. They rank just behind IBM in the impact they had in the early years of the computer industry. Unisys was formed in 1986 by the merger of Burroughs and Sperry, two companies that had themselves grown through acquisitions and mergers. The first two U.S. companies to build a computer, Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and Engineering Research Associates, were both acquired by Remington Rand Corporation (in 1950 and 1951) which, in turn, merged with Sperry in 1956 to become Sperry Rand Corporation.
2008 The Secret in Building 26, The untold story of America's ultra war against the u-boat enigma codes Jim DeBrosse and Colin Burke  This book relates the WWII activities of William 'Bill' Norris, Ralph Meader, and Howard Engstrom who were three of the four founders of ERA.
2009 "The Cello Maker" and other stories of the working man.  David P. Anderson Chandelle Press, second edition The sixteenth short story in this book is "The Invention of Voice Mail", our July 2007 Article for the Month.  This article mentions 'word spotting' for an agency. Not mentioned therein is that Lowell Benson's non-English speech skills were used as examples of spotting much more than just American words.
2013 Digital State, The Story of Minnesota's Computer Industry Dr. Tom Misa University of Minnesota  Press Drawing on rare archival documents, photographs, and a wealth of oral histories, Digital State unveils the remarkable story of computer development in the heartland after World War II. These decades found corporations—concentrated in large part in Minnesota—designing state-of-the-art mainframe technologies, revolutionizing new methods of magnetic data storage, and, for the first time, truly integrating software and hardware into valuable products for the American government and public. Minnesota-based companies such as Engineering Research Associates, Univac, Control Data, Cray Research, Honeywell, and IBM Rochester were major international players and together formed an unrivaled epicenter advancing digital technologies. These companies not only brought vibrant economic growth to Minnesota, they nurtured the state’s present-day medical device and software industries and possibly even tomorrow’s nanotechnology. Mr. Benson has penned an overview of this book,
2014 Generation of Wealth, The rise of Control Data and how it inspired an era of innovation and investment in the Upper Midwest Donald M. Hall Nodin Press
5114 Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis MN  55416
The TIMELINE before the Contents page begins with 1945, World War II ends; 1946, Engineering Research Associates (ERA) formed; ...; and ends with 2009, Medtronic and St. Jude are industry leaders.   In between these dates; the author blends innovative people, company histories, stock prices, and personal research into a fascinating, factual story of Control Data Corporation and the spin off of Cray et al' plus the evolution of the Medical Technology industry in Minnesota.
BTW, LABenson reviewed Don's draft to assure correctness of the ERA Legacy information. Mr. Hall subsequently sponsored a plaque commerating ERA's influence on Minnesota.
2016 A History of the Computer Industry: From Relay Computers to the IBM PC Stephen Lindfors
paperback via The book is a short history of the computer industry, starting with relay computers and ending with the IBM PC, introduced in 1981. The book includes two chapters about important people in the industry, plus a glossary, a bibliography, an index and footnotes.
BTW, LABenson reviewed the draft in 2013 for accuracy relative to ERA Legacy information.
2016 " Born of a Wartime Necessity" From Combat Gliders to Computers in Minnesota, 1941-1946 John M Lindley tbd This manuscript was submitted under Grant Number 1510‐07526 of the Minnesota Historical Society’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program. It provides the history of Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation (NAC) and its post war transformation to Engineering Research Assocoates (ERA). The focus of this book is on the human side of those involved with building the gliders at the Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation.  Mr. Lindley has 244 references to literary works of others.
2017 Making it work: A History of the Computer Services Industry Jeffrey R. Yost MIT Press Editing by William Asprey and Thomas J. Misa. "The computer consulting sector was the origin of the computer services indstry, and Arthur Andersen and Company's Administrative Services Division was probably the first computer consulting enterprise." "This book analyzes the complex, rapidly evolving, and highly influential computer/IT services industry trough a series of company case studies." UNIVAC/Unisys is not a chapter of this book, however are mentioned at several places.  Interestingly, the book shows the transition into 'Cloud' based services by several firms. [lab]
~2017 Led by the Spirit of Truth, My Life Story Gerald Ivar Williams   This 220 page book is reduced to an 8 page synopsis, SatisfyingInventions.pdf (
??? Achieving Accuracy: A Legacy of Computers and Missiles Marshall McMurran There are references to many Univac computers including 1824, ADD 1000, Athena, Nike-X CLC,Target Intercept Computer (GPDC), NTDS, etc.

3.0 Magazine Articles

  • CBI Newsletter, Vol. 35, No. 2, fall 2013: Page 11, A New Computer History Exhibit
  • IEEE Annals of the History of computing, Volume 29 Number 4 October-December 2007 - Arthur Norberg, the Charles Babbage Institute, and the History of Computing.
  • IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 28 Number 3 July-September 2006 - MESM and the Beginning of the Computer Era in the Soviet Union and Strela-1, the First Soviet Computer: Political Success and Technological Failure. {Editor's note: Their first stored program computer went into service in December, 1951 - designed by Lebedev from Kiev.}
  • IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 23, No. 1, January-March 2001 - Sperry Rand’s Third-Generation Computers,
  • IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 20, No. 3, Sperry Rand’s Transistor Computers, July-September 1998
  • Minnesota Monthly as “Original Geeks”, with text by Jim Lenfestey and Photos by Erik More,
  • From "The Link", Bulletin of the National Cryptology Museum Foundation, Inc. Volume 4, Number 1 - Spring 2001  ATLAS AND THE EARLY DAYS OF COMPUTERS By Harlan Snyder, LCDR USNR, Ret. [submitted by Don Weidenbach]
  • From "Communications of the ACM January 1978", pages 24-43 - Evolution of the UNIVAC 1100 Series [submitted by article author Phil Hartley, scanned by Ron Q. Smith)
  • From Star Tribune November 25, 2022: Curious Minnesota by Evan Ramstad: Minnesota companies once dominated the supercomputer industry. What happened? Control Data, Univac and Cray Research designed some of the world's fastest computers. But their success didn't last.
  • From "Ramsey County History, Volume 58 - Number 2 - Summer 2023 - pages 34 and 35": Honoring WWII Code breakers and the Founding of Engineering Research Associates. Authors; Dave Beal, Lowell Benson, Don Hall, Jay Pfaender, and Chad Roberts.

4.0 Slide Shows

  • February 2024 - From ERA to Unisys (slides and Text) by Lowell Benson, retired Unisys systems engineer and VIP Club officer.  Presentation to a UofMN TwinSpin organization via a zoom meeting, YouTube video, Lowell Benson - TwinSPIN Meeting Feb. 1st meeting - YouTube.
  • January 2024 - From Code Breakers to Standard Military Computers by David Bondurant, Retired PE and Former Principal Computer Development Engineer. Presentation to an IEEE chapter via a zoom meeting, links - provided to us by Les Flugum. 
  • November 2016 - Minnesota Computer and Technology Industry History Initiative: A presentation by Dale Weeks at the annual Unihogs/Uniturkeys luncheon.
  • November 2012 - Artifact Preservation Sites, viewgraphs used by Bernie Jansen on 11/16/2012 while briefing the Unihogs/Uniturkeys attendees about the destinations of the artifacts and documents collected by the Legacy Committee during the previous seven years.
  • February 2012 - The WW II History Round Table topic at Ft. Snelling on Feb 9th was 'Code Breaking and the Beginning of Computers' with author Colin Burke as the featured speaker. Lowell Benson followed with ERA Legacy slides and a talk.
  • November 2011 - "Focus on the Future" viewgraphs used by John Westergren on 11/18/2011 while briefing the Unihogs/Uniturkeys attendees about the Legacy Committee status and processes.
  • October 2010 - Minnesota's Hidden History of Computing as presented at the VIP Club's 30th anniversary celebration.
  • September 2008 through May 2009 - Minnesota's Hidden History of Computing - A lecture series presented by the Charles Babbage Institute, Dr. Tom Misa, et al.  Note that the first of these was repeated at the VIP Club program on September 9th, 2009. Dr. Misa also presented this topic at the Club's 30th anniversary celebration on October 13th, 2010.
  • August 2008. Sesquicentennial Tent on the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. Slides were presented at a Computer Technology Forum on 24 August. Thanks to Bernie Jansen for coordinating the forum presenters. Thanks to Ron Q. Smith for merging this set of presentations.
  • May 2008. Sesquicentennial Booth on the Minnesota Capitol Mall. Slides were scrolling on a large screen display. Thanks to Harvey Taipale for coordinating and formatting this set of ERA to LMCO history.


Chapter 100 edited 7/10/2024.

In this Chapter

1.0 Articles for the Month

2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

2.0 Books Listing

3.0 Magazine Articles

4.0 Slide Shows

You may need a *.pdf reader to view these documents - click then follow directions to install their latest reader for your operating system.

 Note: The bit-savers web site ( has over 32,000 documents including technical manuals, photos, and documents from some ERA/UNIVAC/ Sperry/Unisys equipment. We have copied and linked some of these from our computer chapters for researching ease.