Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:
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.
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 predecessor organizations to the Sperry Corporation, including the Remington Typewriter Company, the Rand Kardex Company, and the Sperry Gyroscope Company; the formation of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation; the development of the UNIVAC brand under Remington Rand, Inc.; Philadelphia and St. Paul branches of the UNIVAC division; the UNIVAC manufacturing plant in Bristol, Tennessee; and Sperry divisions outside of UNIVAC, including Sperry Gyroscope Flight and Defense Systems, and Remington Rand office equipment.