Peter Eisenhower Packard, Sperry Univac technical documentationCreation: 1962-1969
Peter Eisenhower Packard (1948-2017) spent his career in information technology at Bell Laboratories, SIAC, Bessemer Trust, and Sperry-UNIVAC. The Sperry Corporation was an electronics company, and the UNIVAC Division manufactured the first commercial digital computer. This collection consists of nine technical programming and operators' manuals for UNIVAC systems, which date from 1962 to 1969.
- Creation: 1962-1969
- Sperry Rand (Corporation). Univac Division (Organization)
.25 Linear Feet
Peter Eisenhower Packard (1948-2017) spent his career in information technology at Bell Laboratories, SIAC, Bessemer Trust, and Sperry-UNIVAC. Packard earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and his master's degree in computer science from New York University.
The Sperry Corporation was an electronics company, and the UNIVAC Division manufactured the first commercial digital computer. The Sperry UNIVAC Division had its origins in the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), founded in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert (1919-1995) and John W. Mauchly (1907-1980). Eckert and Mauchley worked under contract with the U.S. Army's Ordnance Department and developed Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first electronic digital computer. Shortly after the construction of ENIAC, the firm began improving on the ENIAC design, which led to the creation of the Binary Automatic Computer (BINAC), and then the Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC), the first commercial digital computer.
In 1950, Eckert and Mauchly sold their firm to Remington Rand, Inc., a major manufacturer of business machines, which continued the development of the UNIVAC system. The first UNIVAC was delivered in March 1951. In 1952, Remington Rand acquired Engineering Research Associates (ERA), a Minneapolis-based computer-development firm, and ERA and EMCC were consolidated to form the UNIVAC Division of Remington Rand.
In 1955, Remington Rand merged with the Sperry Corporation, and the UNIVAC Division was retained as part of the newly formed Sperry Rand Corporation. Despite UNIVAC's early lead in computer development, Sperry-UNIVAC faced strong competition from International Business Machines (IBM). By the mid-1950s, IBM had gained a clear edge in the business computer market, which it retained for the next several decades. UNIVAC, however, continued to produce new computer systems, with a limited amount of commercial success. UNIVAC machines developed from the first generation UNIVACs with vacuum tubes and mercury delay line memory to solid-state machines with drum memory, then to transistorized computers with thin-film memory, and eventually to microprocessors and personal computers. In spite of mediocre performance in the commercial market, industry experts commented that UNIVAC machines were generally superior to their IBM counterparts. In addition, UNIVAC remained a major military and government contractor, supplying computers to the Armed Forces, NASA, the FAA, and the Bureau of the Census. UNIVAC real-time computers were used extensively by the Navy as missile guidance systems and formed the core of NASA's communications network for the Apollo space project.
In 1979, the Sperry Rand Corporation was renamed the Sperry Corporation, and in 1986, Sperry Corporation was absorbed by the Burroughs Corporation, and the name changed again to the Unisys Corporation.
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of nine technical programming and operators' manuals for UNIVAC systems, which date from 1962 to 1969. The UNIVAC 1100 series is the most predominantly represented, specifically the 1107. The collection includes materials related to the UNIVAC 1107 Sleuth, 1107 Fortran IV, Uniscope 300, Exec IV, 1108, and a reprint of the revised report on ALGOL.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Peter Eisenhower Packard, Sperry Univac technical documentation
- Laurie Sather
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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