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The Birth of an ERA: Engineering Research Associates, Inc. 1946-1955

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129323D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 19 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

ERWIN TOMASH: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

An account is presented of the early years of a pioneering computer company, Engineering Research Associates, Inc. (ERA), which was formed in 1946 at St. Paul, Minnesota, with Navy encouragement. This company was merged into Remington Rand Inc., in 1952, as was Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation two years earlier. These mergers created the basis for what later became the Univac division of Sperry Rand Corporation, or Sperry Univac. ERA's technological contributions are discussed, along with the company's pre-merger growth and financing problems. There were post-merger problems, primarily of organizational integration, but solid groundwork was being laid for Sperry Rand's eventual success in the data processing industry.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1979 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The Birth of an ERA: Engineering Research Associates, Inc. 1946-1955

ERWIN TOMASH

ARNOLD A. COHEN

    (Image Omitted: © 1979, American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Authors' addresses: Erwin Tomash, Dataproducts Corp. 6219 DeSoto Avenue, Woodland Hills. CA 91364; Arnold A. Cohen, Institute of Technology, 107 Lind Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. © 1979 AFIPS 0164-

1239/79/020083-15

The Birth of an ERA: Engineering Research Associates, Inc. 1946-1955

ERWIN TOMASH

ARNOLD A. COHEN .00/0)

An account is presented of the early years of a pioneering computer company, Engineering Research Associates, Inc. (ERA), which was formed in 1946 at St. Paul, Minnesota, with Navy encouragement. This company was merged into Remington Rand Inc., in 1952, as was Eckert- Mauchly Computer Corporation two years earlier. These mergers created the basis for what later became the Univac division of Sperry Rand Corporation, or Sperry Univac. ERA's technological contributions are discussed, along with the company's pre-merger growth and financing problems. There were post-merger problems, primarily of organizational integration, but solid groundwork was being laid for Sperry Rand's eventual success in the data processing industry.

Keywords and phrases: Engineering Research Associates, Inc. (ERA), Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, Remington Rand Inc., Sperry Rand Corporation, Sperry Univac, J.E. Parker, W.C. Norris, H.T. Engstrom, Ret. Meader, J.H. Rand, Jr., magnetic drum storage, ERA 1101 computer, ERA 1103 computer, Communications Supplementary Activity -- Washington (CSAW), National Security Agency (NSA)

CR Categories: 1.2, 2.1, 32, 3.5, 3.8, 6.0, 6.2, 63, 6.4

Introduction

In recent years, two major works on computer history have been published.' Both concerned themselves with technology and individuals; neither attempted to describe the development of what clearly has been the premier growth industry of the post World War II period. Part of this void has now been filled by Nancy F. Stern in her recent Ph.D. thesis, which includes an account of the efforts of John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. to establish and operate

IEEE Computer Society, Oct 01, 1979 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 1 Number 2, Pages 83-97

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The Birth of an ERA: Engineering Research Associates, Inc. 1946-1955

their comp...