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Document Details


Title: Robert V. D. Campbell
Local code: OH 67
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Charles Babbage Institute
Collection: Charles Babbage Institute Oral History Program
Description: Campbell discusses his work at the Harvard Computation Laboratory and his subsequent career in computing. The interview begins with a description of Campbell's early life, through his graduate education in physics at Columbia and Harvard. He recounts how Howard Aiken chose him to work with IBM on the latter stages of design of the Mark I calculator while Aiken was on active duty in the Navy in Virginia. Campbell describes what he learned from Aiken about the plans for the Mark I in the late 1930s and the arrangement reached with IBM to build the computer. He assesses the relative contributions of Harvard and IBM to the Mark I project based on his own experience at IBM's research facility at Endicott, NY. He then describes the formation of the Harvard Computation Laboratory, the operation of the Mark I there, and the work beginning in 1945 on the Mark II calculator for Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground. Topics covered include the controversy between Aiken and IBM, Aiken's personality, Aiken as an educator, and Aiken's attitude toward the computer industry.
Extent: 60 pages
URL: http://www.cbi.umn.edu/oh/pdf.phtml?id=78
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1984 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Campbell, Robert V. D.
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker occupation: Electrical engineer
Document location: Concord, MA
Document date: 22-Feb-1984
Interviewer: Aspray, William
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Computer software; Electric engineering; Engineering; Information technology; North America; Oral history; Software engineering; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0023916-25452