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5907RE: [midatlanticretro] Very cool find!

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  • Mike Loewen
    Aug 3, 2007
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      On Fri, 3 Aug 2007, Bill Sudbrink wrote:

      > Basically, a differential analyzer is a very large slide rule. Some good
      > footage of one can be seen in the
      > science fiction movie "When Worlds Collide".

      http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200208/history.cfm
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:KayMcNultyAlyseSnyderSisStumpDifferentialAnalyzer.jpg
      http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/rbm/mauchly/jwm5.html

      ...and an excerpt from :

      http://ftp.arl.mil/~mike/comphist/61ordnance/chap1.html

      "The Moore School of Electrical Engineering of the University of
      Pennsylvania had a Bush Differential Analyzer of somewhat larger capacity
      than the one at Aberdeen Proving Ground. It had fourteen integrating units
      instead of ten. Therefore the Ordnance Department awarded a contract to
      the University of Pennsylvania for the utilization of this device. Several
      additional contracts were later awarded to the University to carry out
      different phases of the increasingly important role which it was to play
      in the computation activities of the Ordnance Department during the war.

      Lt. P. N. Gillon, in his capacity as officer in charge of ballistic
      computations, conferred frequently with Dean Pender, Professor Brainerd,
      and their associates at the Moore School in order to effect proper
      coordination of the computational work at the two localities, Philadelphia
      and Aberdeen. There was a very talented group at the Moore School under
      the direction of Professor Brainerd and as a result of Lt. Gillon's
      discussions with them Assistant Professor Weygand undertook to develop an
      electronic torque amplifier to replace the mechanical torque amplifiers on
      the Bush Differential Analyzers. This work was eminently successful and,
      in addition, photoelectric followers were developed by the Moore School
      group for both the input and output tables of the analyzer. As a result of
      these accomplishments the productive capacity of the analyzers at both the
      Moore School and Aberdeen Proving Ground were enhanced by at least an
      order of magnitude."


      Mike Loewen mloewen@...
      Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
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