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Seymour Yuter collection of Technitrol, Inc., lawsuit records
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Seymour Yuter collection of Technitrol, Inc., lawsuit records

Accession 1901

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Michael H. Nash, 1987, 1945-1976

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-03T13:39-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Seymour Yuter collection of Technitrol, Inc., lawsuit records (Accession 1901), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Seymour Yuter collection of Technitrol, Inc., lawsuit records
Dates: 1945-1976
Accession Number: 1901
Creator: Yuter, Seymour C.
Extent: 23 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: Technitrol Inc., was incorporated in 1947 in order to develop computer technology for military and industrial purposes. The collection consists of copies of trial records collected by Seymour C. Yuter, a patent attorney for Technitrol, Inc. including documents from the interlocking suits of Technitrol v. Control Data Corp., Technitrol v. Sperry Rand, and Technitrol v. U.S.A., in which the principal point at issue was, who was the inventor of the magnetic storage drum.
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Administrative Information


Provenance

Gift of Seymour Yutter

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by creators of the records.

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Historical Note

Technitrol Inc., was incorporated on April 15, 1947 by John F. Koch, Jr., E. Stuart Eichert, Jr., Gordon Palmer, Jr., and T. K. Sharpless. The company was organized in order to develop computer technology for military and industrial purposes. Prior to working for Technitrol, Eichert, Koch, and Sharpless had been employed at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, where they worked on the ENIAC project. In the summer of 1947 Technitrol began working on a computerized airline reservation system. On May 26, l948, Sharpless demonstrated this "Reservisor" system to American Airlines, but the airline declined to purchase it. The key component of this system was the magnetic storage drum for which Technitrol received a patent on Sept. 23, 1952.

However, during the 1940s, Engineering Research Associates, a St. Paul-based firm that was doing top secret research as part of the U.S. Navy's cryptographic program, had developed a similar system. When Technitrol tried to license its invention, a bitter patent infringement suit resulted. The principal parties to this litigation were the United States Government, Sperry Rand Corporation, successor to Engineering Research Associates, and Control Data Corporation, which had been established by a breakaway group of former Engineering Research Associates engineers.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of copies of trial records collected by Seymour C. Yuter, a patent attorney for Technitrol, Inc. They include documents from the interlocking suits of Technitrol v. Control Data Corp., Technitrol v. Sperry Rand, and Technitrol v. U.S.A., which came to trial between the late 1950s and the mid 1970s. The principal point at issue was, who was the inventor of the magnetic storage drum. The records provide a fascinating picture of the early history of the computer industry and trace the role played by the military in the years immediately after World War II.

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Access Points

ABC Computer.
ATLAS Computer.
Aiken, Howard H. Howard Hathaway, 1900-1973.
Airlines--Reservation systems.
American Airlines, inc.
Atanasoff, John V. John Vincent.
Brown, Lowell.
Cohen, Arnold A.
Computer engineering.
Computer industry--United States.
Computers.
Control Data Corporation.
Coombs, John.
Cryptography.
Curtiss, John Hamilton, 1909-1977.
EDVAC Computer.
ENIAC Computer.
Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation Philadelphia, Pa..
Eichert, E. Stuart Edwin Stuart, 1920-1976.
Electronic data processing.
Electronic digital computers.
Engineering Research Associates.
Engstrom, Howard T. Howard Theodore, 1902-1962.
Forrestal, James, 1892-1949.
Gun direction computer.
Harvard University. Computation Laboratory.
Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, N.J..
Keye, William R., 1921-.
Magnetic cores.
Magnetic memory Calculating-machines.
Mark IV Calculator.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mauchly, John W. John William, 1907-1980.
Minuteman Computer.
Moore School of Electrical Engineering.
Norris, William C., 1911-.
Northwest Airlines, inc.
Project Goldberg.
Project Whirlwind.
Raytheon Manufacturing Company.
Rees, Mina Spiegel, 1902-.
Rockwell International.
Sperry Rand Corporation.
Technitrol, inc.
United States. National Bureau of Standards.
United States. Office of Naval Research.
Univac computer.
Whirlwind computer.
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Harvard University Computation Laboratory, 1948-1955
Scope and Content
Documents the work done at Harvard University's Computation Laboratory between 1948 and 1955 under the direction of Howard Aiken. Included is a copy of Aiken's "Investigation for the Design of a Digital Calculating Machine," which describes the development of the Mark IV computer.
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1 Investigation for Design of Digital Calculating Machinery - Progress Reports 1, 3-16, 1948 May 10 - 1950 February 10
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2 Investigation for Design of Digital Calculating Machinery - Progress Reports 17, 19-33, February 10, 1951-May, 1954
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3 Investigation For Design of Digital Calculating Machinery - Progress Reports 34-36, 38, 41, May 20, 1954-August, 1955
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3 Annals of the Computation Laboratory of Harvard University, Volumes 14-15, includes “Tables of the Error Function and Its First Twenty Derivatives, 1951-1952
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3 Engineering Research Institute University of Michigan “Shoran Distance Computations with Tables Based on Clarke 1866” prepared by Harry C. Carver, Professor Mathematics for Air Research and Development Command, 1953 June; 3 volumes
II. Engineering Research Associates, 1945-1952
Scope and Content
The discovery documents shed some light on the history of Engineering Research Associates, which has always been shrouded in secrecy because of the firm's involvement with the Navy's cryptographic program. The documents show that as early as 1943 the Navy recognized that the computer, with its ability to rapidly manipulate data streams, was a natural tool for encoding and decoding messages. The Navy's most successful wartime unit was led by Commander Howard T. Engstrom, in peacetime a professor of mathematics at Yale, and Lt. Commander William C. Norris, who had been a sales engineer for Westinghouse. After the War, Norris established Engineering Research Associates with the encouragement of Secretary of the Navy Forrestal, and it was soon the most advanced computer company in the world. It developed the ATLAS, the first stored-memory digital computer.
The development of the Atlas computer is documented in great detail, including a component-​by-​component chronology, weekly and monthly progress reports, correspondence, memoranda and engineering notebooks of key engineering personnel Arnold Cohen, John Coombs, William Keye, and Lowell Brown. The records reflect the secrecy imposed by the Navy. The records include copies of Engineering Research Associates's contracts with the Office of Naval Research and correspondence with Dr. Mina Rees, head of the Mathematical Division at ONR, and John Curtiss, head of the Computing Division of the National Bureau of Standards. There are also copies of Engineering Research Associates reports on magnetic storage and MIT's Project Whirlwind.
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4 Engineering Research Associates Chronology
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4 Engineering Research Associates Invention Dated Picture
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4 Twenty Four Digit Parallel Computer with Magnetic Drum Memory Report submitted by Engineering Research Associates to the National Bureau of Standards, 1949
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4 Thirty Digit Magnetic Storage Drum Parallel Computers Report submitted by Engineering Research Associates to the National Bureau of Standards, 1949
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4 J.M. Coombs, “Storage of Numbers on Magnetic Tape”, Engineering Research Associates, Inc., Engineering and Research: The Key To The Future , F. C. Mullaney, Design Features of the Engineering Research Associates 1101 Computer
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4 Exhibit Files. B 1-1:Technitrol Company Engineering Drawings and Financial Records, 1947-1948
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4 Exhibit Files. C 243:Engineering Research Associates, Inc. Task Order I, Progress Reports, No. 5, May-June 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. C 244:Engineering Research Associates Progress Report No. 6, July-August 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 1:Arnold Cohen Laboratory notebook, 1946-1948
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4 Exhibit Files. E 2:William R. Key Laboratory notebook, 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 3:Engineering Research Associates, “Selective AltEngineering Research Associatestion of a Digital Data In A Magnetic Drum Computer Memory”, December 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 5:Engineering Research Associates “Magnetic Recording of Pulses For The Storage of Digital Information”,, June 19, 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 6:Engineering Research Associates Arnold Cohen “Internal Storage by Magnetic Recording”, 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 7:Engineering Research Associates John Coombs “Storage of Numbers on Magnetic Tape”
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4 Exhibit Files. E 9:Engineering Research Associates, G. A. Hardenberg Laboratory notebook, 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 10:Engineering Research Associates, James G. Miles Laboratory notebook, 1948
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4 Exhibit Files. E 11:Engineering Research Associates, S. M. Rubens, Laboratory notebook, 1946-1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 12:Engineering Research Associates, Robert J. Eulberg, Laboratory notebook, 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 13:Engineering Research Associates, Donald R. Dubbert, Laboratory notebook, 1947
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4 Exhibit Files. E 14:Engineering Research Associates, D. W. Ammerman, Laboratory notebook, 1946-1947
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5 Exhibit Files. E 15-32:Engineering Research Associates Task 13 Atlas Progress Reports 1-17, 1947-1949
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5 Exhibit Files. E 33-42:Engineering Research Associates Task 13 Atlas Progress Reports 19-38, 1949
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5 Exhibit Files. E 43:Engineering Research Associates Atlas Report, Vol. 1
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5 Exhibit Files. E 44:Engineering Research Associates Atlas Reports, Vol. 2
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5 Exhibit Files. E 45:Engineering Research Associates Task 1 Progress Reports 5, 6 & 8, 1947
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5 Exhibit Files. E 46:Engineering Research Associates Task 13 Progress Reports, Nos. 29-51
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5 Exhibit Files. E 47:Project Goldberg Progress Reports, Nos. 3-13
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5 Exhibit Files. E 48:Engineering Research Associates Bimonthly Progress Report Task Order I, November 1946-January 1947
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5 Exhibit Files. Engineering Research Associates Laboratory notebook William Keye, 1948
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5 Exhibit Files. E 49-1:Engineering Research Associates Memorandum re Symposium on Magnetic Drum Applications J. H. Howard to R. I. Meader, March 5, 1948
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5 Exhibit Files. E 49-A1:Engineering Research Associates Bimonthly Progress Report Task Order I, January-March 1947
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5 Exhibit Files. E 50:Excerpts from EDVAC Progress Report, Volume 2, 1946
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5 Exhibit Files. E 51-52:Engineering Research Associates Goldberg Project Progress and Summary Reports, 1946-1947
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5 Exhibit Files. E 53:Arnold Cohen's Laboratory notebook, 1947-1950
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5 Exhibit Files. E 54:John M. Coombs' Laboratory notebook, 1946
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5 Exhibit Files. E 62:Engineering Research Associates Arnold Cohen notebook Project B3001 Project Whirlwind B3001, 1948
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5 Exhibit Files. E 63:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence and Memoranda, 1946-1952
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5 Exhibit Files. E 63 942:Engineering Research Associates Magnetic Storage System
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5 Exhibit Files. E 64:Engineering Research Associates Arnold Cohen's Laboratory notebook, 1949-1955
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5 Exhibit Files. E 65:Engineering Research Associates Atlas Progress Reports, 29-43, 1950-1951
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5 Exhibit Files. E 66:Engineering Research Associates Goldberg Project Task 9 Progress Reports, 29-60, 1948-1952
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5 Exhibit Files. E 67:Engineering Research Associates Goldberg Project Progress Reports, 3-13, 1946-1947
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5 Exhibit Files. E 68:Engineering Research Associates Goldberg Project Progress Reports, 1-14, 1947-1948
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5 Exhibit Files. E 69:Engineering Research Associates Task Order #50 Bureau of Ships, August Report, 1947
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5 Exhibit Files. E 70:Engineering Research Associates Progress Reports and Memoranda re Atlas Project, 1947-1950
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6 Exhibit Files. Engineering Research Associates, Goldberg Project Weekly Progress Reports, July 21, 1946-February 2, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. E 72:Engineering Research Associates, Correspondence re Atlas Project, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. E 73:Engineering Research Associates, Atlas Project Interim Reports, 1950
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6 Exhibit Files. E 74:Engineering Research Associates, Goldberg Project Weekly Project Reports, August-December, 1946
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6 Exhibit Files. E 75:Engineering Research Associates, Goldberg Project, Patent Disclosures and Correspondence, 1946-1947
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6 Exhibit Files. E 76:Engineering Research Associates, Goldberg Project Progress Reports and Correspondence, 1946
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6 Exhibit Files. E 77:Engineering Research Associates, Goldberg Project Progress Reports, January-February 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. E 78:Engineering Research Associates, Goldberg Project Progress Reports, 1946
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6 Exhibit Files. E 79-81:Engineering Research Associates Patent Disclosure in Magnetic Drum Computers, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. E 83:Engineering Research Associates, Frick and Thomas Laboratory notebooks, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. E 84:Engineering Research Associates A [UNK] Laboratory notebook
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6 Exhibit Files. E 85:Engineering Research Associates, Lowell Brown Laboratory notebook, 1947-1948
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6 Exhibit Files. E 86-111 [page 8]
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6 Exhibit Files. F 1-5:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence primarily with the Office of Naval Research re the 1946 Government Contract, 1946-1948
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6 Exhibit Files. F 12:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence with the Office of Naval Research re Government Contracts, 1946-1947
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6 Exhibit Files. F 13:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence & Reports re Project B-3001 Whirlwind, 1946
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6 Exhibit Files. F 14:Project B-3001 Informal Project Notes, 1948
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6 Exhibit Files. F 18:Engineering Research Associates memo: Tentative Specifications for a Computing Device for Most Rapid Feasible Delivery, 1948
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6 Exhibit Files. F 21:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence re Project B-3001, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. F 22:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence re Atlas Project, 1947-1951
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6 Exhibit Files. F 24:Engineering Research Associates Correspondence, 1948-1950
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6 Exhibit Files. F 25:James Miles notebook re Airline Reservation System, 1948
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6 Exhibit Files. G 1:Engineering Research Associates Proposal For Airlines Reservation System for TWA, 1946
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6 Exhibit Files. G 4:Engineering Research Associates Proposal for Automatic Space Reservation System for Northwest Airlines, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. G 5:Engineering Research Associates Proposal for Automatic Space Reservation System for Airline OpEngineering Research Associatestion, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. G 6:Engineering Research Associates Proposal - Sales Demonstrator - Magnetic Storage Techniques Temporary Storage of Telegraphic Intelligence, 1948
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6 Exhibit Files. G 14:Airline Reservation Systems - R. M. Kalb's Personal File, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. G 16:William Norris Correspondence, 1947
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6 Exhibit Files. G 18:Airline Reservation System for Northwest Airlines memoranda, 1947-1952
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6 Exhibit Files. G 20:Engineering Research Associates Progress Report - Airline Reservation System, 1948
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6 Exhibit Files. J:Atlas Instruction Manual Vol. 1, 1953
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7 Exhibit Files. O:Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation - Engineering Reports on the BINAC, 1949
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7 Exhibit Files. Q:Princeton University Institute for Advanced Study,
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7 Exhibit Files. “Interim Progress Report on the Physical Realization of an Electronic Computing Instrument”, January 1, 1947-1949
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7 Exhibit Files. Z:William Field Laboratory notebook, 1947
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7 Exhibit Files. Documents collected through discovery - Princeton University Institute for Advanced Study and Collatoral Material
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7 Exhibit Files. C 322:Princeton - Institute for Advanced Study Progress Report, Realization of an Electronic Computing Instrument by J. H. Bigelow
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7 Exhibit Files. J. M. Pomorene, R. J. Slutz, W. H. Ware, January 1, 1947
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7 Exhibit Files. Preliminary discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic Computing Instrument, by Arthur W. Burks, Herman Goldstine and John von Newmann, 1946
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7 Exhibit Files. D 664-668: Meeting of Cohen, Coombs, Keyes, re B-3001 Programs and collatEngineering Research Associatesl memoranda, September 8, 1947
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7 Exhibit Files. D 675:Engineering Research Associates Proposal Submitted to the Office of Naval Research “Selective AltEngineering Research Associatestion of Digital Data in a Magnetic Storage Drum, December 1, 1947
III. Other documents collected through discovery, 1960-1970
Scope and Content
Consists of other records collected during the discovery process. This file contains documentation on John Atanasoff's computer, the Harvard Mark IV, the ENIAC, BINAC, EDVAC and UNIVAC. Most of these documents were drawn from the suit of Honeywell, Inc. v. Sperry Rand but were entered as evidence by Technitrol's lawyers to raise questions about Engineering Research Associates's claim to the magnetic storage drum patent.
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8 Gun Direction Computer XM-18, 1961
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8 Minuteman D-17 Computer, 1960-1970
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9-10 Documents Collected Through Discovery of Moore School of Electrical Engineering Records
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9-10 “Theory and Techniques for Design of Electronic Digital Computers” John Mauchly Lectures
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9-10 EDVAC Progress Reports
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11 Documents Collected Through Discovery, Raytheon Manufacturing Company
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11 “The Preliminary Design of an Automatic Digital Computing System” developed under contract with the National Bureau of Standards for the Office of Naval Research, August 12, 1947
IV. Prior Art Files
Scope and Content
Contains documentation on Atanasoff's computer, the Harvard Mark IV, and Eckert-Mauchly's ENIAC and UNIVAC. There is also information on Rockwell International's Gun Direction and Minuteman computers, projects which applied the principles of automatic command and control first explored at Engineering Research Associates.
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12 Records re John Atanasoff's ABC computer and the Harvard Mark IV
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13 Patents assigned by Sharpless to Technitrol Corp. as well as those assigned to the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation.
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14 Working Trial Brief and Summary of Discovery Procedure
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15 Defense Marketing Measurers - “Data Collection Processing and Retrieval System Designed to Construct Statistical Measurements of the U. S. Defense Industry” Computer printout Variables measured include dollar volume, market share, and product mix of the markets and companies for the aerospace companies. The data in these printouts is arranged by hardware category, phase, and system category., 1960-1968
V. Court Records
Scope and Content
Includes trial transcripts, briefs, affidavits, depositions, and related docments which trace the progress of the trial through the court.
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16 Technitrol vs. Control Data Miscellaneous Trial
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17 Documents including working trial brief, appeal; patent material and related correspondence.
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18 Technitrol vs. Sperry-Rand material includes Arnold Cohen's deposition Kite Sharpless patent records ENIAC, EDVAC, summary of Kite Sharpless' deposition extracts from progress reports and notes and photocopies re history of Engineering Research Associates., February 6-10, 1961, December 2, 1958,
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19 Technitrol vs. USA - Stenographic Trial Transcript Prior Art Files, May 24, 1967-January 16, 1968 -
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20 Technitrol vs. USA
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20 Engineering Research Associates Patent Magnetic Storage Drum Coombs,, 1948
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20 Affidavits Kite Sharpless
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20 Exhibits - re Technitrol Engineering Company's effort to build a computerized reservation system for American Airlines 2 black diners
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20 Technitrol Chronology and Invention Dates
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20 Legal Correspondence and Papers - Patent and Interference Files, 1951-1960
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21 Technitrol vs. USA continued Legal Correspondence - Patent and Interference Files
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21 Technitrol vs. Trustees of University of Pennsylvania depositions of Dr. Carl Chambers, Dr. Donald Murray and Dr. Irven Travis, 1967
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22 Duplicate Exhibit Files Engineering Research Associates
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1 L. D. Findley notebook, 1947-1949
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1 J. T. Brands notebook, 1947-1950
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1 Arnold Cohen notebook, 1947-1949
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1 D. W. Ammerman & A. P. Hendrickson notebook, 1947-1949
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1 G. A. Hardenbergh notebook, 1947-1949
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2 J. C. Miles notebook, 1947
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2 B. M. Sifford, 1948
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2 D. D. Christensen notebook, 1947-1949
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2 L. D. Findley notebook, 1947-1950
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2 A. F. Vitalli notebook, 1947-1948
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2 G. W. Lund notebook, 1948-1949
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2 W. L. Anderson notebook, 1949
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2 H. H. Kurth notebook, 1949
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3 D. D. Christensen notebook, 1949
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3 D. H. Raudenbush notebook, 1949
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3 W. H. Armoth notebook, 1950
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3 D. T. Greenwood notebook, 1948
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3 J. M. Coombs & W. P. Burrell notebook, 1947-1950
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3 A. P. Hendrickson notebook, 1948-1949
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3 E. M. Anderson notebook, 1948
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3 F. S. Kline & W. S. Field notebook, 1948-1949
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3 J. G. Miles notebook, 1948
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4 J. Kelar notebook, 1948-1950
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4 E. D. Korhone notebook, 1948-1950
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4 L. W. Reid notebook, 1948-1949
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4 F. C. Mullaney notebook, 1948-1950