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Document Details


Title: John E. Parker
Local code: OH 99
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Charles Babbage Institute
Collection: Charles Babbage Institute Oral History Program
Description: Parker discusses his career: his years in the Navy, acquisition of Porterfield Aviation Company, start-up of Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation, and especially the formation of Engineering Research Associates (ERA). Parker explains how his business brought him to St. Paul and into contact with the Navy, and how the Navy approached him to direct a new research company, ERA, to continue war-time work done for the Navy. Parker recalls his meetings with key ERA personnel, including William Norris, Ralph Meader, and Howard Engstrom. ERA's entry into computing is discussed, including contracts in 1948 with the Navy, Air Force, and National Bureau of Standards and negotiations in 1949 with IBM over a magnetic drum design. Parker recalls ERA's sale to Remington Rand in 1950 and mentions the 1950 publication of High-Speed Computing Devices. Parker's period as Vice President for Sales at Remington Rand and Sperry is the focus of the last third of the interview. From 1952 to 1956 he and his staff sought to expand the number of computers sold and to integrate sales of all types of automatic machines.
Extent: 86 pages
URL: http://www.cbi.umn.edu/oh/pdf.phtml?id=217
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1985 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Parker, John E., 1900-1989
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 1900
Speaker occupation: Electrical engineer; Entrepreneur; Military personnel
Age at speaking: 85
Document location: Washington, D.C.
Document date: 13-Dec-1985
Interviewer: Norberg, Arthur L.
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: OHI0024024-25570