The Ex-IBM Time Clock in Watson Lab

Photo

First floor stairwell, Watson Lab, 612 West 115th Street. Center right is the timeclock mounting. Upper right corner: the mounting bracket for the time card rack. Left: entrance to IBM's classroom. As noted, the IBM Watson Laborotory scientists ignored the time clock, but those on hourly wages, like grad students, had to use it. Dr. Koenig [17] tells the tale of one such student, Maurice Eisenstadt, who was also an accomplished musician. He disappeared one day along with Dr. Eckert's secretary, Frone Lund. They returned a month later married, having eloped to Scotland. Eisenstadt had the full highland regalia including bagpipes, which he taught himself to play in the Watson Penthouse at 6:00am every day. When IBM called to ask why he was punching in at 6:00am, Dr. Koenig said "to play bagpipes" and no more was said. Eisenstadt became good enough to earn spots in Brigadoon and PDQ Bach.

Photo: Frank da Cruz.


Frank da Cruz / fdc@columbia.edu / Columbia University Computing History / Jan 2001