| EMCC=>UNISYS |
Burroughs, etc. |
Milestones | Spinoffs
| Artifacts | Mementos
Burroughs, etc. Chapter
1. Introduction, Burroughs bought
Sperry to form UNISYS!
This Legacy chapter is a place holder for stories that don't easly
fit within other anthology sections of his web site. [Genealogy diagram
by retired UNISYS Fellow Ron Q. Smith.]
Part of the VIP Club history/legacy/heritage is traced to Burroughs
which purchased Sperry in 1986 to form UNited
Information SYStems. Marketing
and Field Service functions for all Burroughs products had offices in
the Twin Cities from the early 50s until the 80s. Then their support
was combined in a new building at 3199 Pilot Knob Road in Eagan, across
the parking lot from the Sperry Defense operations which became a part
of Lockheed Martin MS2. A small group of former Burroughs employees
meet for lunch monthly at the Mall of America.
Pilot Knob facility is referred to as the 'MACS' building in VIP Club
literature as we have had volunteers serving at Blood Mobile drives
there and now using their visitor's conference room for board meetings
and a few programs. Plus, the UNISYS Roseville are being merged therein
during 2017. [lab]
We are seeking volunteers to expand these parts of our Twin Cities
This section is a placeholder for information about RCA before their
computer line was acquired by UNIVAC.
- (copied from an undated paper "A brief History of
Sperry Corporation". Sperry is historically linked to many
of the major business machine advances of the past hundred years as
well as to the invention of the world's first electronic computer
The Sperry story begins in 1873 with the introduction
of the first commercial typewriter by E. Remington & Sons of Ilion
N.Y. After a half century of business operation, E. Remington &
Sons was merged with several other business machine makers to form a
new company in 1927 - Remington Rand, Inc. During the next two decades,
Remington Rand earned an enviable reputation as a developer of financial
record and filing systems and a manufacturer of typewriters, mechanical
calculators and punched card systems. But the acquisition of two small
companies in 1950 and 1952 would form the nucleus of an entirely new
kind of business which continues to be reflected in the organization
In 1950, Remington Rand purchased the Eckert-Mauchly
Computer Corporation of Philadelphia, PA. A few years earlier,
while affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, J. Presper Eckert
and John Mauchly had designed and assembled ENIAC (Electronic Numerical
Integrator and Calculator.) This huge electronic computer, the first
of its kind in the world, was built to solve ballistics problems for
the U.S. Army and was hundreds of times faster than any of its mechanical
counterparts. The success of ENIAC prompted Eckert and Mauchly
to form their own computer company in 1947. In 1949, they completed
BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer) for the Northrop Corporation in California.
Another computer which they called UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer)
was only partially completed when the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation
was acquired by Remington Rand in 1950. the first model of the
UNIVAC I Series was delivered to the United States Bureau of the Census
In 1952, Remington Rand purchased Engineering
Research Associates (ERA) of St. Paul, Minn. ERA had been organized
in 1946 by a group of World War II mathematicians and engineers who
had developed considerable expertise in electronic cryptography and
special purpose military electronic systems. In 1950, ERA delivered
two electronic computers to the United States Navy and Tahoma Institute
of Technology. After ERA was acquired by Remington Rand, each
of the computer models in this initial series was identified as a UNIVAC
In 1955, Remington Rand merged with the Sperry
Corporation, forming Sperry Rand. The Sperry Corporation had been
founded in 1910 by Elmer A. Sperry, a prolific inventor and applied
scientist. Then called the Sperry Gyroscope Company, the firm
engineered navigational gyrocompasses for maritime applications and
aircraft direction finding and stabilization equipment including the
automatic pilot. Sperry was incorporated in 1933, and had acquired
Vickers Incorporated, manufacturer of efficient, low-cost devices for
powering hydraulic control systems, in 1937, and the New Holland Machine
Company, producer of agricultural equipment, in 1947. Operating
as Sperry Rand, the company established the Sperry Phoenix Division,
manufacturer of flight systems equipment, in 1957, and separated the
computer operations from the Remington office products division, forming
the Univac Division in 1962.
The 1969s and 70s were decades of organizational
stability and business growth in Sperry's key markets. The
company expanded its international operations through formation of joint
ventures in Scandinavia and Japan an establishment of engineering and
manufacturing sites in Canada, Belgium Germany, France, Scotland and
England. In 1979, with the planned divestment of Sperry's
electric shaver and office products operations, Sperry Rand Corporation
changed its name to Sperry Corporation to streamline the corporate identity.
The 1984 divestment of Sperry Vickers further focused the corporate
mission on designing and producing high technology, electronic-based
systems and products for commercial business, government, defense, aerospace
and maritime markets.
Today, Sperry, with corporate headquarters in
New York City, is composed of five operating groups:
- Information Systems Group (40,000 employees) headquartered in
Blue Bell, Pa., a leading manufacturer of commercial computer systems,
peripheral equipment, software and services.
- Defense Products Group (14,000 employees) headquartered in Eagan,
Minn., a leader in real-time, high technology militarized information
processing and support systems and products.
- Aerospace and Marine Group (9,000 employees) headquarter in
Phoenix, Az., a leading manufacturer of systems and instrumentation
for commercial, defense and general aviation and maritime markets.
- Systems Management Group (5,000 employees) headquartered in
Great Neck, N.Y., a leading prime contractor to domestic and international
government markets specializing in electronic-based systems.
- Sperry New Holland (5,000 employees) headquartered in New Holland,
Pa., the world's largest manufacturer of specialized agricultural
Since the 1952 acquisition of ERA, the company's
operations in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota have been steadily expanded.
Today, Sperry's employment in Minnesota numbers 14,000, ranking
the company as the State's fourth largest industrial employer.
The Defense Products Group is headquartered in Eagan,
Minn., and operates 12 divisional facilities in the St. Paul area.
Information Systems Group's System Products Division designs and
manufactures large-scale computers and components at facilities in suburban
Roseville, Brooklyn Park, and Eagan, and in outstate Jackson, Minn.
A regional Information Systems Group asset reclamation center is located
in Mendota Heights, as is the Systems Management Group's air traffic
control operations. Eagan is also the site of regional operations
for Sperry New Holland. [re-typed by LABenson]