Sperry Rand Corporation, Univac Division records1935-1985
The Sperry Corporation was an electronics company and the UNIVAC Division manufactured the first commercial digital computer. The Sperry UNIVAC division has its origins in the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), founded in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert (1919-1995) and John W. Mauchly (1907-1980). In 1950, Eckert and Mauchly sold their firm to Remington Rand, Inc, a major manufacturer of business machines, who continued development of the UNIVAC system. The collection documents most of Sperry-Univac's major company functions and includes a large body of materials generated by the Sperry-Honeywell lawsuit that revolved around the question about who invented the first electronic-digital computer.
- Sperry Rand (Corporation). Univac Division (Organization)
616 Linear Feet
The Sperry Corporation was an electronics company and the UNIVAC Division manufactured the first commercial digital computer. The Sperry UNIVAC division has its origins in the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), founded in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert (1919-1995) and John W. Mauchly (1907-1980), the developers of ENIAC, the first electronic digital computer. The firm began the development of the UNIVAC, the first stored memory digital computer for commercial applications. Capital shortages forced Eckert and Mauchly to sell the firm to Remington Rand, Inc., a major manfuacturer of business machines, in 1950. The first UNIVAC was delivered in March 1951. To cement its lead in computer manufacture, Remington Rand purchased the Minnesota firm of Engineering Research Associates, a computer company with ties to the defense industry, in 1952. The two acquisitions were consolidated to form the Univac Division.
As the first commercial computer system, UNIVAC made a dramatic impression on the American public. At the suggestion of Remington Rand, CBS Television used a UNIVAC to predict the outcome of the 1952 presidential election. This marvelous public relations stroke helped UNIVAC capture the imagination of the nation. During the early 1950s forty-six UNIVAC I models were sold. However, in 1954 IBM introduced its 650 computer, which was a great commercial and technological success, and Remington Rand saw its lead vanish almost overnight.
On June 30, 1955, Remington Rand merged with the Sperry Corporation, a manufacturer of guidance systems, servomechanisms, feedback controls and precision machinery, to form the Sperry Rand Corporation. After the merger, the company attempted to recapture the market with the UNIVAC II, which had a magnetic core memory and a storage capacity of between 2,000 and 10,000 characters. However, by the mid-50s the initiative had clearly passed to IBM, although many industry observers believed that the UNIVACs were technically superior to IBM computers. By the early 1960s IBM controlled 71 per cent of the computer market, with Sperry Rand a distant second at 10 per cent.
The Patent Office finally issued a patent on the ENIAC in 1964, and Sperry Rand used this to put forward a claim to basic patent rights on the electronic digital computer. Honeywell, Inc., contested this claim, and the case was tried in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in 1971-1973. Honeywell was eventually upheld on all counts.
The Sperry Rand Corporation was renamed the Sperry Corporation in July 1979. In 1986 as the result of a hostile takeover, it was absorbed by the Burroughs Corporation, which then changed its name to Unisys Corporation.
Scope and Content
The collection documents most of Sperry-Univac's major company functions from its beginnings into the 1970s and includes a large body of materials generated by the Sperry-Honeywell lawsuit that revolved around the question about who invented the first electronic-digital computer.
The Honeywell-Sperry Rand lawsuit produced 50,000 pages of trial transcript, and over 36,000 documents were entered in evidence. Sperry Rand's lawyers produced a huge archive of trial documents. Two major files were created, the "Original file" of documents from Sperry Rand's own archives, and the "Chronological file" of all documents located during the discovery process and entered as exhibits. The trial archive is a major source on the history of the computer industry.
The Legal papers document Sperry-UNIVAC's efforts to defend and license the ENIAC patent. This series contains patent interference files as well as the records generated by the Sperry attorneys who worked on the Sperry-Rand vs. Bell Laboratories case (1956-1957) the Sperry Rand vs. IBM case (1963-1964). This series also contains a fragment of the legal correspondence generated by the Sperry-Honeywell suit.
This Executive Officers series describes the history of the company during the 1960s, a period during which it steadily lost market share to IBM. The correspondence of President R.E. McDonald and Vice Presidents F.R. Raach and G.H. Geick documents corporate strategy, organization changes, technological innovation, and sales policies.
The Technical Documents series trace the technological history of electronic data processing at Sperry Rand From the 1950s to the mid 1970s, as they describe the development of five generations of computers. The archive traces the evolving relationship between hardware and software. It shows that the earliest programs for the ENIAC were done in a machine language that mirrored the physical construction of the computer. With the introduction of stored programs, full computer languages such as COBOL were developed. The records document the development of the UNIVAC algebraic short language code by Grace Hopper in the early 1950s. Software publications files trace innovations in UNIVAC software from 1958 to 1970 and show how software engineers sought to maximize hardware potential.
The Engineering Department records include the files of J.P. Eckert, who was department head from 1953 to 1964 and those of Herman Lukoff who led the department from 1965 to 1975. The files describe the development of the Livermore Automatic Research Calculator (LARC) that was completed during the late 1950s and the early 1960s. This project, undertaken in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, proved to be a tremendous drain on the company's resources. Sperry Rand wound up losing $19 million on the project which was twenty-seven months behind schedule when it was finally completed in 1961. Despite the fact that only two machines were sold, the LARC did make significant contributions to the development of computer technology. The engineers at Sperry were convinced their experiences with the LARC enabled them to build a much more powerful UNIVAC III than would have otherwise been possible.
The Herman Lukoff papers document Sperry-Univac's effort to apply semiconductor and solid-state technology to computer development. The records trace the relationship between advances in these areas and innovations in magnetic memory and mass storage. The files on the UNIVAC 80 show that in 1958 Sperry was the first company to market a computer with transistorized circuitry. Four months later, however, IBM responded with a solid state machine of its own, the 1401, which was to dominate the market for much of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Engineering Research Associates series document (1946-1955) the negotiations which led to the Sperry-ERA merger as well as the engineering work conducted by ERA. In 1952, Remington Rand attempted to strengthen its position in the electronic data processing equipment industry by acquiring Engineering Research Associates (E.R.A.) of St. Paul, Minnesota. At that time, E.R.A. was on the cutting edge of computer technology. However, in 1957, William Norris, the firm's founder, left Sperry to form his own Company, Control Data Corporation.
Sales and Marketing Department series includes advertising brochures, sales bulletins, and proposals prepared for Sperry Univac customers. The files describe most of the major UNIVAC computer systems sold during the 1950s and 1960s. Among the systems represented are those designed for automated accounting systems, numerical control for machine shops, missile guidance, and optical scanning. The sales records document customer expectation and show how Sperry Univac attempted to respond to these changing needs. They show that in spite of Sperry Univac's effort to compete with IBM for corporate contracts during the 1950s and 1960s, the United States government and the military continued to be the company's most important customers. During this period Sperry continued to be a major supplier of computer equipment to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Atomic Energy Commission, General Services Administration, and National Bureau of Standards.
The sales and marketing records also include copies of the Monthly Management Review and Sales Bulletin as well as the minutes of Sperry Univac's Product Planning Group. Management services research reports document efforts to evaluate competitive computer systems with particular emphasis, of course, on IBM.
Also included are administrative records from the Sales and Marketing Department, including procedural manuals, correspondence, budgets, and product planning records. There are also records from the Univac Scientific Exchange (USE, Inc.), which was formed in 1955 to facilitate common standards and information exchange among users of the Univac 1103A computer.
The Programing and service manuals files, which date from 1951, complement the sales literature. These volumes describe most major Univac computer systems and show their evolution over time. The programing manuals can be used in conjunction with the software publication files to trace the relationship between hardware and software development.
In June 1977 Sperry-UNIVAC aquired Varian Data Machines. The operation became known as the Sperry Univac Mini Computer Operations. Corporate records series include merger and divestiture agreements, Varian technical documents, sales literature, and manuals.
Patent and licensing series includes the files of patent attorney W.E. Cleaver and copies of domestic, and foreign licensing agreements.
Personnel Department records series contains departmental correspondence files as well as records of contract negotiations, arbitration, grievance, and National Labor Relations Board Proceedings.
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
Litigators may not view the collection without approval.
Literary rights retained by depositor.
Language of Materials
Deposit of Unisys Corporation, 1982
Sperry Corporation, UNIVAC Division photographs and audiovisual materials (Accession 1986.261), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.
- Michael Nash, Computers, Automation, and Cybernetics at the Hagley Museum and Library (Greenville, Del.: Hagley Museum & Library, 1989).
Alphabetical Listing of Witness Files
- Adlemann, Morris
- Andrews, Ernest
- Atanasoff, John
- Atanasoff, Lura
- Auerbach, Albert
- Auerbach, Isaac
- Baas, John
- Barron, Wallace
- Beam, Walter
- Berlinsky, Anthony
- Berneking, William
- Bigelow, Julian
- Binger, James
- Brainerd, John
- Bremberg, Bruce
- Brenner, Edward
- Brooks, Joe
- Buchanan, Robert
- Bullard, Hugh
- Burks, Arthur
- Cannon, Edward
- Carr, Percy
- Chedaker, Joseph
- Clippenger, Richard
- Coleman, Ithael
- Davis, Albert
- Desch, Joseph
- Dickinson, Arthur
- Dombrowski, Robert
- Dunn, Stannard
- Dustin, H. Mial
- Eason, Leroy
- Elbigner, Lewis
- Elliot, herbert
- Ellis, Murray
- English, Charles
- Epstein, Herbert
- Etienne, Alexander
- Finigan, William
- Finke, Walter
- Gambrell, James
- Goldstine, Herman
- Greer, Raymond
- Griffen, Daniel
- Hanson, Henry
- Hirshfeld, Joseph
- Holberton, Francis E.
- Holberton, John
- Joly, Joseph
- Kempton, Gregory
- Kenosian, Harry
- Ladd, David
- Leas, Wesley
- Legvold, Sam
- Luhowy, George
- Lukoff, Herman
- markham, Jesse
- mdasterson, Earl
- Mauchly, Kathleen
- McBride, Daniel
- McGovern, Patrick
- McHugh, William
- McPherson, James L.
- McPherson, John C.
- Michael, F. Robert
- Miller, Frederick
- Morgan, Minot
- Mumma, Robert
- Murphy, Gleen
- Murray, Donald
- Oakley, Bert
- Ondrick, Charles
- Padden, Frederick
- Peirce, E. Read
- Peper, Denis
- Pflieger, Larry
- Phelps, Byron
- Pigott, Jr., Chales
- Pokotilow, Manny
- Rajchman, Jan
- Richards, RIchard K.
- Ritchings, Robert
- Rose, Kenneth
- Russinoff, Albert
- Schmitter, Charles
- Schrimpf, Henry
- Smith, Paul
- Spence, Homer
- Sweet, Joseph
- Talmage, William
- Travis, Irven
- Ulam, Stanislaw
- Warren, Read
- Warshaw, Julius
- Wheeler, John
- Wilson, Lou
- Winsor, Paul
- Wyman, Irma
Master Witness List
The following is a list of all persons who testified on behalf of Plaintiff. The list is arranged alphabetically, with with a designation of the form of testimony adjacent to the name of each “witness.”
The forms of testimony are as follows:
Live: The “witness” testified live.
Deposition: Plaintiff offered in evidence the deposition or depositions of the “witness.”
Summary of Deposition: Plaintiff offered in evidence a summary of the deposition testimony of the “witness,” but did not offer the deposition itself.
Deposition and Summary of Deposition: Plaintiff offered in evidence the deposition or depositions of a “witness” and a summary or summaries of the deposition or depositions.
When located behind a deposition-related designation, the symbol * indicates that portions of that deposition were read into the record.
The notation to the right of the form of testimony dseignation indicates where a copy of each Witness File can be located.
The location designations are as follows:
DPR: A copy of the file for this witness is located at the offices of Dechert, Price, and Rhoads in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2E2: A copy of the file is located at Univac Division Site 2E2 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.
DPR & 2E2: Copies of the file are located at both the offices of Dechert, Price, and Rhoads, and at Univac Site 2E2.
- Adelman, Morris-- Live / DPR
- Anderson, Roland A.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Andrews, Ernest G.-- Deposition/ 2E2
- Atanasoff, John V.-- Live / 2E2
- Atanasoff, Lura-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Auerbach, Albert A.-- Live / 2E2
- Baas, John C.-- Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Barron, Wallace E.-- Deposition / 2E2
- Bartik, Jean J.-- Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Berneking, William B.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Binger, James H.-- Live / DPR
- Blackwell, H. Jack-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Bloch, Richard M.-- Live / DPR
- Brainerd, John G.-- Live / DPR & 2E2
- Bremberg, Bruce E.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Brooks, Joe R.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Buchanan, Robert E.-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Bullard, Hugh M.-- Live / DPR
- Carr, Percy H.-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Cavender, J.T.-- Live / 2E2
- Chedaker, Joseph-- Live / DPR & 2E2
- Clippinger, Richard F.-- Live / 2E2
- Coleman, Ithiel-- Live / 2E2
- Davis, Albert S.-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Dederick, L.S.-- First and Second Depositions and Summaries of First and Second Depositions / DPR
- Desch, Joseph R. -- Deposition* / 2E2
- Dickinson, Arthur H.-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Dombrowski, Robert K.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Dunn, Stannard-- Deposition / 2E2
- Dustin, H. Mial-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Eason, Leroy-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Elbinger, Lewis-- Live / 2E2
- Ellis, Murray-- Live / 2E2
- Epstein, Herbert-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Etienne, A.J.-- Deposition / 2E2
- Finigan, William H.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Finke, Walter W.-- Live / DPR
- Gambrell, James B.-- Live / DPR & 2E2
- Geib, Burgess F.-- Live / DPR
- Gillon, Paul N.-- Live / DPR & 2E2
- Goldstine, Herman H.-- Live / DPR & 2E2
- Greer, Raymond C.L.-- Raymond Greer was not allowed to testify by Judge Larson. Plaintiff offered in Greer's stead a “Proof of Testimony.” / 2E2
- Griffen, Daniel L.-- Deposition / 2E2
- Hanson, Henry L.-- Live / DPR
- Hartree, Mrs. Douglas-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Heyman, Henry-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Hirshfeld, Joseph-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Holberton, Frances Elizabeth Snyder-- Deposition / DPR & 2E2
- Holberton, John-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR & 2E2
- Joly, Joseph A.--Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Kempton, Gregory C.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Kenosian, Harry-- Live / 2E2
- Kline, Louis-- Deposition / 2E2
- Ladd, David L.-- Live / 2E2
- Leas, J. Wesley-- Live / DPR
- Legvold, Sam-- Live / 2E2
- Lenox, John-- Live / DPR
- Luhowy, George-- Live / 2E2
- Mark, J. Carson-- Live /DPR
- Markel, Herbert F.-- First and Second Depositions / DPR
- Markham, Jesse W.-- Live / DPR
- Mauchly, ˚Kathleen-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR & 2E2
- McBride, Daniel-- Live / DPR
- McGovern, Patrick J.-- Live / 2E2
- McHugh, William-- Deposition / 2E2
- McPherson, James L.-- Live / 2E2
- McPherson, John C.-- Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Meltzer, Marlyn-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Michael, Frank R.-- Live / DPR
- Morgan, Minot C.--Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Mumma, Robert E.-- Live / 2E2
- Murphy, Glenn-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Murray, Donald S.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Oakley, Bert T.-- Deposition / 2E2
- Ondrick, Charles-- Deposition / 2E2
- Padden, Frederick W.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Peirce, E. Read-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Peper, Denis A.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Pfleiger, Larry L.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Phelps, Byron E.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition* / 2E2
- Pokotilow, Manny D.-- Live / DPR
- Rajchman, Jan A.-- Live / 2E2
- Rench, Carl F.-- Live / DPR
- Richards, R.K.-- Deposition* / 2E2
- Ritchings, Robert H.-- Deposition / 2E2
- Rose, Kenneth-- Live / 2E2
- Russinoff, Albert-- Deposition / 2E2
- Schmitter, Charles-- Deposition / 2E2
- Simon, Leslie E.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Smith, Paul-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Spangle, Clarence-- Live / DPR
- Sweet, Joseph C.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Talmage, William H.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Teitelbaum, Ruth-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Teller, Edward-- Live / DPR
- Travis, Irven-- Live / DPR
- Ulam, Stanislaw-- Live / DPR
- VanSant, Fred-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / DPR
- Warshaw, Julius-- Live / DPR & 2E2
- Wheeler, John N.-- Deposition and Summary of Deposition / 2E2
- Wilson, Louis D.-- Live / 2E2
- Winsor, Paul III-- Live / 2E2
- Wyman, Irma-- Live / DPR
- Zworykin, Vladimir K.-- Deposition / 2E2
Relating to the correspondence and papers of the Sperry attorneys in the following casses brought before the Examiner of Inerferences in the United States Patent Office
- 88,280: Eckert & Lipkin vs. Rajchman (RCA)
- 88,118: Woods-Hill et al vs. Eckert et al
- 7,957: Rubens vs. Nordyke
- 87,872: Eckert et al vs. Hamilton et al
- 87,779: Eckert et al vs. Dickinson
- 89,345: Boyden vs. Eckert & Mauchly
- 89,109: Guterman vs. Eckert et al
- 88,903: Epstein vs. Eckertet al
- 88,810: Hall vs. Bonn et al
- 88,721: Miller vs. Devol
- 87,706: Thompson vs. Schmitt (Burroughs)
- 87,611: Elmore vs. Schmitt (Burroughs)
- 86,965: Meecham vs. Eckert
- 85,131: Mumma vs. Eckert & Mauchly
- 85,729: Lewis vs. Eckert
- 95,961: Lukoff et al vs. Newton
- 94,710: Norwood vs. Phillips
- 93,002: Eckert et al vs. Baker et al
- 93,847: Gilson (Burroughs) vs. Welsh
- 93,563: Muffley vs. Blain
- 93,544: Eckert et al vs. Williams et al
- 93,522: Herwitz et al vs. Breslin et al
- 93,504: Appleton vs. Goddard et al
- 93,101: Hollabaugh et al vs. Jones
- 92,579: Gilson vs. Welsh et al
- 92,568: Clapper vs. Von Kummer
- 92,302: Booth & Warren vs. Lawrence
- 92,230: Henle et al vs. Nordahl et al
- 92,032: Muffley vs. Welsh
- 91,714: Cagle & Chen vs. Bonn
- 91,604: Sziklai vs. Bonn et al
- 91,549: Eckert vs. Kaplan
- 91,280: Eckert vs. Reiling
- 91,261: Eckert et al vs. Baumeister
- 91,172: Hals vs. Von Kummer vs. CLapper
- 91,149: Steele vs. Eckert et al
- 90,885: Kaupman vs. Holt
- 90,872: Rider et al vs. Saykay
- 90,844: Torrey vs. Lode
- 90,694: Hussey vs. Bonn vs. Henle
- 90,676: Eckert et al vs. Thompson
- 90,645: Kaplan vs. Eckert
- 90,644: Lubin vs. Eckert
- 86,141: Morris vs. Eckert & Mauchly
- 85,958: Eckert-Mauchly vs. Nelson
- 90,134: Guterman (Raytheon vs. Kaplan (RCA) vs. Eckert
- 90,087: Rueger vs. Eckert
- 9068: Eckert vs. Vogelsong
- 89,898: Torrey vs. Lode
- 89,734: Smith vs. Eckert et al
- 89,618: Bonn vs. Svala
- 89,560: Atkinson vs. Hasbrouck
- 85,809: Eckert & Maruchly vs. Nelson
- 90,305: DUinker vs. Bonn et at
- 90,307: Yetter vs. Karnaugh (BTL)
- 90,602: Saykay vs. Rider
- 90,611: Jacoby vs. Woodland
- 90,638: Abbott vs. Bonn
- Sperry Rand (Corporation). Univac Division (Organization)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Sperry Corporation, Univac Division records
- Ellen Felser Morfei
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description: