Wallace Eckert Smithsonian Exhibit - Photo #1

Wallace J. Eckert, Astronomer: "When I started in 1926 as an assistant at Columbia, the logarithm was just being put to bed and the desk calculator was beginning to take over computation work. It was an exciting time as we began to see the real possibilities of automatic computation emerging."

These are scans of xerographic copies of 8x10" glossy photographs from a special exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute commemorating the life and work of Wallace Eckert, 1973, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. The exhibit was created by Henry S. Tropp, Principal Investigator of the Smithsonian's Computer History Project, mainly from materials loaned by Mrs. Eckert.

Second row left: Ben Wood's Statistical Bureau at Columbia University, 1928-33. Third row right: Eckert's groundbreaking 1933 "computer": IBM calculators, tabulators, and punches interconnected by a controller of his design to automate complex scientific calculations. Bottom right: Eckert's Astronomical Computing Bureau in Pupin Hall, 1937.

Frank da Cruz / fdc@columbia.edu / Columbia University Computing History / Sep 2003