Columbia University Computing History   

US Naval Observatory - 1941

US Naval Observatory 1941
Photo by Herb Grosch.

Herb said of this photo:

On pp.61-65 [of Computer, Bit Slices from a Life] I tell about Jack Belzer subtabulating and printing Wallace Eckert's AIR ALMANAC, on a scary new IBM 405. This was in Eckert's second shop, which he put together in 1940 after coming to the Naval Observatory from the Thomas J. Watson Astronomical Computing Bureau in the attic of Pupin. Took the picture to show my parents where I ran a motorized (!) Millionaire calculator; summer of 1941. The punched card operation was on the other side of the building. I had Eckert's Orange Opus on my bookshelf, and watched in awe as the black monster ground out the pages. Jack ended up as a full professor at Western Reserve, and died at 85 eight years ago, well known in computerized, um, library science. The compass arrow on the sidewalk is in 1941 blue ink, on the original.

Columbia University Computing History Frank da Cruz / This page created: May 2003 Last update: 4 April 2021